Apple’s most-delayed product in memory finally appears in the company’s online store


“INT. Early Morning, Today. The Lobby Bar of a Top-Tier Las Vegas Casino Resort. The White iPhone 4 is slumped back in a chair, alone, playing a table-top video poker machine embedded in the bar. He is up late, not early.”

So begins John Gruber’s X-rated cinematic pastiche on Daring Fireball, perhaps the only thing that’s left to read — if you haven’t already — of the tens of thousands of stories published since the white iPhone 4 missed the first of several deadlines 10 months ago.

“It was challenging,” Apple VP Phil Schiller told All Things Digital‘s Ina Fried Wednesday in an interview with Steve Jobs. “It’s not as simple as making something white.”

The device appeared on Apple’s AAPL online store shortly after 5:00 a.m. EDT and will be available for sale at all U.S. Apple Stores when their doors open Thursday. At 7:30, half an hour before the phone was scheduled to go on sale at Manhattan’s Fifth Ave., there was a line of customers outside that an Apple staffer described as “pretty long.”

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]