Here's the real reason Apple is delaying Leopard launch-for iPhone

My colleague Larry Dignan notes that Apple's forthcoming Leopard OS has been seen by analysts  as a potential boon to Mac purchases.Yet as Larry and others report, Leopard's release is being pushed back from the spring to the fall because Apple feels it needs its engineering resources at the ready for getting the iPhone all dolled up for its June release.

My colleague Larry Dignan notes that Apple's forthcoming Leopard OS has been seen by analysts  as a potential boon to Mac purchases.

Yet as Larry and others report, Leopard's release is being pushed back from the spring to the fall because Apple feels it needs its engineering resources at the ready for getting the iPhone all dolled up for its June release.

For the record, Apple says:

"(The) 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."

I'm skeptical.

I don't think this decision is so much an engineering-resources trade-off as a marketing trade-off. Apple has to be fearing that two major rollouts too close to each other will detract attention from both. Wouldn't there be separate teams for each?

OK, so for the sake of argument maybe you believe Apple about the engineering resources matter.

But if so, I have to ask: 

If there are engineering resources issues at play here two months before the iPhone launch, is Apple signalling some problems getting the iPhone ready for release two months from now? 

I also agree with Larry when he writes:  

"However, a delay of the iPhone by Apple would definitely be viewed as the worst of two evils. Analysts are expecting big things from iPhone sales so may give Apple a pass on the Leopard delay–as long as the iPhone launches on time."

"As long as." When it comes to technology marketing, you would have a hard time finding a defining phrase with as much potential power- or FUBAR-ic implications if it isn't handled right.


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