Apple has promised a white iPhone will arrive sometime this spring, but according to a new store update it’s looking like the handset has taken one step back, not closer to launch, says “SlashGear” (

After the Apple Store went down overnight, the white iPhone SKU was gone from the system. As “SlashGear” notes, this could mean that Apple is preparing a different version with a new SKU, or it might mean that the company has given up on the white iPhone idea altogether.

Last month an iPhone fan wrote Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing, on how to get a white iPhone. Schiller reportedly answered with a terse, Jobs-ian answer: “The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!).”

The white iPhone has been troubled since the start. When Apple announced the iPhone 4, it said it would be available in black and white models. However, on June 23, 2010, Apple issued a statement that the white models “have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected.” At the time, Apple promised to release them by the second half of July. Instead Apple said the white iPhone would not actually be available until the end of the year.

— Dennis Sellers