There's still another two months until spring arrives, but could the long-overdue white iPhone 4 beat it to the punch? The elusive smartphone has made its most conspicuous move towards its release thus far, as it now appears in the inventory tracking system of Vodafone Germany.
Alongside the familiar black models of the iPhone 4, a leaked internal Vodafone screenshot shows both 16GB and 32GB editions of the "weiss", or white iPhone 4. Admittedly, just because a carrier is expecting the handset at some point doesn't necessarily mean it will be arriving in the immediate future, but the fact that we're seeing companies prepare for it already may suggest that it could arrive before the anticipated spring release.
Officially, Apple has given "spring 2011" as when to expect the white iPhone 4, which has been backed up by the timeframe's inclusion in printed materials. While Vodafone may well be getting its ducks in a row two months early, you could get away with being a little optimistic that the phone could arrive a little early. After all the proposed causes for the delay, from getting shades of white to match perfectly, to avoiding any performance or aesthetic issues that may arise from a less opaque housing, perhaps Apple finally has had its breakthrough moment. Frankly, at this point, just getting the phone before the iPhone 5 is out would be enough.