OS X Leopard release slips 4 months thanks to iPhone

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leopard.jpgLast month we tried to stifle the rumours of an OS X Leopard delay, but now in an official statement, Apple has stated that its next generation operating system will indeed not ship until October.

The rumoured reason for the delay was to improve support for users wanting to use Vista, but the official reason cited by Apple yesterday is the iPhone.

Read on for Apple’s official statement:

We can’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 — 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.

Given the iPhone has a version of OS X on board, it makes sense that Leopard will almost be ready by then, as I presume many of its features will be available on the handset.

Though it’s disappointing that Apple’s next operating system won’t be around until the autumn, and I can imagine Microsoft firing back a few shots after the hard time Apple gave them about OS delays, it’s understandable. With all the hype, and potential revenue, behind the iPhone, Apple need to throw all of their resources at the launch.

Andy Merrett