People looking for a white Apple iPhone 4  had an up-and-down Tuesday: The day started with a flurry of speculation that you could pre-order one via an Apple Store iPhone app but by the end of the day Apple issued a statement that the elusive smartphone wouldn't be available until spring.

Apple has threatened several times to make the white iPhone 4 - which was spotted in the wild at a New York City press event recently - generally available but has then announced delays. Apple said in early July that the device would be available later that month, but later that month said it would be available later this year. 

The black iPhone 4 debuted in June and has been hugely popular, as evidenced by Apple's recent record financial results.

Apple issued a statement Tuesday to All Things Digital regarding the white iPhone 4: “We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone yet again, but we’ve decided to delay its release until this spring.”

Apple iPhone 4 Much speculation has circulated about reasons for the delay, with some saying Apple hasn't quite been able to match up the color of the phone with its buttons and others suggesting it has to do with the color of the glass. PC World in July offered some advice for those who just couldn't wait for a white iPhone 4.

With the latest delay, Verizon might even be selling iPhones by the time a white iPhone 4 emerges. Some industry watchers wonder whether white iPhone 4 fever will subside by next spring with an iPhone 5 likely around the corner.

Meanwhile, Apple has had more pressing issues to deal with than the white iPhone 4, including concerns over the glass on iPhones being scratched or cracked by cases and a new bug that allows thieves to unlock stolen iPhones and make calls.

[Folow Bob Brown on Twitter at]