Iljitsch van Beijnum has come to a similar conclusion that I touched on in a post at usrbingeek.com. Apple’s delay of Leopard is not good news, no matter how you look at it.
And this is a bigger deal than what many people make it out to be, because Apple has painted itself, and thereby customers looking to buy their products, into a corner. It could be that iLife ’07 and iWork ’07 are delayed for completely unrelated reasons, but rumor has it, that the two suites will be Leopard-only. If true, this means that Apple may as well skip the ’07 iteration and go directly to ’08. Users don’t seem to be screaming for new versions of iLife and iWork (although I wouldn’t mind an improved version of Pages), but it’s still lost sales. For the hardware, it’s much worse. Prior to the Intel transition, hardware updates meant a few hundred MHz of CPU speed here or an integrated iSight there, nothing to get worked up about. However, last year, Apple upgraded the iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros from a 32-bit to a 64-bit CPU. Not a big difference in everyday use yet, but it could be if the 64-bit optimizations in Leopard are as significant as some people claim they are.
Part of me worries that Apple is getting too consumer product focused by slowing support on Leopard in favor of the iPhone. The company should be able to scale their development on ipods, phones AND computers. I predict this delay will hurt Apple this quarter, maybe even the next. Apple seem to be banking every thing on the iPhone, but is this a smart move?
While I have high hopes that Apple will make the iPhone a spectacular device, I’m very concerned about AT&T/Cingular being the only provider. They only operate in 2/3rds of the country and in many areas their service is less than ideal or even reliable. I think we will see people swich from other providers and then complain about the poor service, incorrectly blaming Apple and the iPhone for it, when it is actually AT&T’s fault. Mark my words.
[tags]Apple, Mac, Leopard, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Leopard, iPhone, AT&T, Cingular, AT&T Cingular[/tags]