The white iPhone 4 is a "beauty" and will be with us at some stage in the spring, according to Apple's Phil Schiller.

Engadget spotted that Schiller wrote on his Twitter account that it would be launched in the spring in response to a question.

Though Schiller didn't specify that it was a white iPhone 4 - the message reads: "The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!)" - the iPhone 5 isn't likely to be announced until WWDC in June.

The white iPhone 4 was supposed to launch alongside the black iPhone 4, though manufacturing issues prevented this. Since then, many Apple fans have been impatiently waiting for the handset.

The first inkling that the white iPhone 4 could arrive in spring came in December last year, when signage for the Apple Store detailing a spring launch was uncovered.

Two UK network operators then added white iPhone 4 listings to their websites in January , but both Orange and Three denied that this had been in preparation for a launch when questioned by Macworld.

Steve Wozniak speculated that an issue with the paint and how much light it let in to the inner workings of the iPhone 4 could be to blame, saying that it would affect the performance of the camera in the device.

Last week, rumours that Apple was sick and tired of the issues that the glass back of the iPhone 4 and white paint caused emerged, leading to speculation that an aluminium back will used in the iPhone 5 .

It is also thought that the iPhone 5 will not support NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, as had previously been rumoured.