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Update: Engadget’s Richard Lai goes in-depth on why he believes the camera wasn’t a problem with the white iPhone 4. In short, the faulty camera Wozniak was seeing most likely resulted from inferior white iPhone parts. Woz also responded to Engadget, saying that he didn’t actually have any inside knowledge on why the unit was delayed. Since this seems to be another case of Woz just misspeaking, we can no longer say that he “confirmed” the camera issue.
Original story below.
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak confirmed said today that early white iPhone 4 parts caused issues with its camera, which led to multiple delays and its near-mythical status among gadget hounds. He also praised Google’s Android smartphone operating system.
Both observations are interesting in that they show rare cracks in Apple’s seamless public façade. The gadget company had announced at its launch that the iPhone 4 would come in black and white models, then kept delaying the release of the white iPhone 4, a rare misfire in its recent history of smooth product rollouts. And Wozniak, who regularly notes that he’s still on the Apple payroll, has issued praise for Android before.
In a conversation with Joshua Topolsky, editor of the AOL-owned tech blog Engadget, on the site’s eponymous online-video show today, Wozniak said that he ordered the white iPhone parts from a teenager online who somehow received them from Foxconn, who manufacturers the iPhone. When he tried to take a picture with the device’s flash, he said the photo looked as if it was taken through cellophane, confirming earlier rumors that the white case caused light leakage when the flash was used.
Additionally, Wozniak said that his white iPhone 4 parts caused issues with its proximity sensor (although I think he’s actually referring to its ambient light sensor, which could see similar light leakage issues to the camera). He then confirmed that Apple has resolved the problems with the white iPhone 4, and that we’ll be seeing them soon. We recently reported that the fabled device has started appearing on AT&T and Best Buy computers.
Woz also spent quite a bit of time praising Android, something that put him in hot water months ago when he called Android the winner in the current smartphone race (he later said he was misquoted). He said that Android contained many great features that the iPhone is lacking. In particular, Wozniak emphasized how much he loved Android’s ability to accept voice commands, as well as the Swype software keyboard available on Android, Symbian and other platforms. He definitely preferred both of those methods to hunting and pecking letters on a touch screen — which is the only method of text input on the iPhone so far.
Wozniak also revealed that he’ll be picking up two Verizon iPhones when — in black and white — to accompany his current trio of AT&T iPhones. Judging from his conversation, Woz will definitely be taking advantage of the Verizon iPhone’s 3G hotspot capabilities (which will be headed to all iPhones soon). He previously told us in an interview how much he wanted an iPhone that works across both AT&T and Verizon’s networks.