Blame it on iPhone
Apple says that extra attention needed for iPhone is the cause for OS X 10.5 delay

While Microsoft may have caught a lot of flak for the lengthy delay of Windows Vista, Apple will now have a smaller delay of its own when it comes to OS X 10.5 (Leopard). According to a press release yesterday from Apple, Leopard will not be launched this June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but will instead launch in October.

"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," said the company in the release.

This release would normally just be seen by consumers as disappointment since the operating system won't be delivered as expected -- but there's more to the story.

In late March, DigiTimes actually reported that Leopard would be delayed until October. Michael Gartenberg, an analyst for Jupiter Research, decided to contact Apple directly and get the low-down on the situation. "Just spoke with Apple who confirmed the reports are wrong and Leopard is still scheduled to ship in this spring as they previously announced,” said Gartenberg in his blog on March 23. “The rumor mill is wrong again.”

Likewise, Apple Insider also dug into DigiTimes following Gartenberg's report. "Carve out another notch in the loss column for Taiwanese-based DigiTimes, which on Friday reported that Apple's next-generation Leopard operating system would be delayed till October," wrote Apple Insider.

Apple indicates that the reason for the delay is due to the resources needed to launch the iPhone in late June. "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," Apple continued. "We had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team."

Leopard will be a true 64-bit operating system for Apple and will have 32-bit backwards compatibility. Apple is also touting a new feature called Time Machine which is similar to Vista's System Restore along with an integrated version of Boot Camp.

Apple’s iPhone was announced this year at MacWorld 2007 and ended up being the talk of the town at the Consumer Electronics Show. The iPhone features a 3.5" 320x480 display, 4GB or 8GB of memory, GSM, WiFi, 2.0MP digital camera and runs OS X. The iPhone is priced at $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB with a 2-year contract.

It's rumored that the iPhone will be powered by a Marvell PXA320 processor which is currently available in speeds of up to 806MHz (although samples have been seen running at 1.2GHz).

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