For once, the rumor mill was right: Apple will be delaying Leopard, the next release of Mac OS X, until October.
The company said in a statement Thursday that because of the push to get the iPhone out by June, it had to pull engineers from the Leopard development effort and reassign them to the iPhone. As a result, Leopard won’t be finalized until later this year, and only a preview version will be available at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Looks like maybe Apple should have named it after a slower cat.
Apple’s official statement
iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned. We canâ€™t wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is. However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price â€” we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard’s features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we’re sure we’ve made the right ones.
Editor’s comment: Has Apple been having their water imported from Redmond? Seriously, they couldn’t just use some of their vast cash reserves to hire some additional developers? I guess Steve was really serious about the dropping of the whole computer from the Apple name. I love iPods, the Apple TV, and the iPhone as much as the next Apple fan, but come on. Apple’s roots and the heart of company are in the OS and in the glorious systems we get stuff done on each and everyday. Has Apple lost sight of that in lieu of the consumer success of the iPod? Leopard has already had the longest development time of any OS X update to date. I don’t think Apple is giving us the whole story here. Let’s just hope they don’t pull another play from Microsoft’s rulebook and start ripping announced features out of 10.5 just to try and make their new ship date.