Why Apple Delayed Leopard for the iPhone

Yesterday’s news: Apple [[AAPL]] takes developers off of OS X 10.5 “Leopard” to hurry up and meet iPhone deadlines.

Today’s news: Why they did it.

This decision was not about (not) missing deadlines for contracts with Cingular, not allocating enough resources to iPhone in the first place, or otherwise neglecting to do the right stuff at the managerial level – iPhone was delayed, yet Apple chose to trade in an iPhone delay for a 4-month postponement of OS X Leopard. Why would they do that? Is iPhone really a bigger deal than OS X 10.5? Does Apple care more about the iPhone than Leopard?

Apple is notoriously quiet about the future of their products – especially their operating system, OS X. While Leopard is but a bump to the minor version of Mac OS 10, it’s supposed to be a big deal. It’s certainly hyped-up for a lot longer than the actual iPhone – both in and out of Apple. So why this “sudden” shift in priorities? The answer is rather clear, and even self-explanatory.

Put it whatever way you like, the only reason Apple is anywhere near as successful as it is now is because of its dedicated fanbase. Whether it’s the iPod, G5, Mac Mini, iPhone, or the rumored Apple-powered BMW, their fans are all over it. Apple’s marketing ploys, from the “I’m a Mac” ads to the iPod commercials and webvertisements all take advantage of this fact – very commendable and smart marketing going on there. However, Apple has one thing in their favor no other company has – to the best of our knowledge – ever had: a fanbase willing to take things way of proportion, and to spread these rumors faster than wild fire.

We’re not here to judge – but these are the facts, and, like it or not, they play a major role in Apple’s most recent decision: to prioritize the iPhone over Leopard with regards to release dates and resource allocation.

The reason is simple: at the moment, the iPhone is the ‘next-big-thing’ for Apple’s fanbase everywhere. Despite the fact that – strictly speaking – OS X 10.5 is the bigger deal and will power the Mac OS platform for the next couple of years and usher in a set of new technologies for developers and users alike, and will, most probably, bring in more cash than the iPhone; Apple’s fanbase is determined that the iPhone is the be-all end-all of the Apple universe – for today.

Apple needs to catch this wave, because getting the iPhone out now rather than 4 months later means that they can capitalize on their eager users’ anticipation, hype, and free advertisements. Like it or not, Apple’s secrecy with regards to OS X Leopard and the user-base’s general non-programming makeup means that they’re focused on iPhone and nothing else.

Anything Apple does before they release the iPhone won’t be getting the users’ full and undivided attention. Delaying the iPhone for a couple of months will naturally result in a inevitable (albeit slight) decrease in the amount of hype going around – just like Duke Nukem Forever’s fanbase is slowly dwindling down to one…

These two facts together make it very much worth delaying OS X Leopard and getting the iPhone out ASAP. In short, unlike most of the other companies on the software/hardware playing field, Apple’s decisions aren’t made by the stockholders alone – what the users want, the users get. After all, whenever it is that Apple gets OS X 10.5 ready, their users will already be lined up to get it.

52 thoughts on “Why Apple Delayed Leopard for the iPhone

  1. “Apple has one thing in their favor no other company has – to the best of our knowledge – ever had: a fanbase willing to take things way of proportion”

    err, ever heard of the Commodore Amiga?   Amigans make the Mac addicts look like mild introverts ;-)

  2. Naw, Amiga fans aren’t as vocal about their POV… They don’t go about giving unsolicited, inaccurate, unwanted, unwarranted, and totally unrelated advice at all times that is 100% pro-Mac no matter what.

    Mac fans are a disease…. Amiga fans are just geeks :)

    (BTW, Mac fanboys are not geeks!!! Don’t anyone make that mistake, aight? They’re spoiled teletubbie users, not hardcore technology fanatics or else they’d be using a real OS like Linux, Solaris, or even Windows)

  3. “Not the true story,” you sick faggot!

    Someone delete that paedophile spam comment before I throw up all over the keyboard…

    Oh, and it’s not only NSFW, it’s also filled with Java that takes up 100% CPU and makes annoying loud noises to make sure everyone looks over to see what you’re doing.

    Delete it already! Please!

  4. “After all, whenever it is that Apple gets OS X 10.5 ready, their users will already be lined up to get it.”

    As a long time Mac user, I’d really have to disagree with you. I’ve used Mac OS since the 7/7.5 days, and I’m not planning on buying Leopard. I’ve had enough of Apple pushing their fancy, yet wasteful features down my throat. Granted, I ultimately make the choice whether to buy their OS or their computers. Mac OS X experienced a golden age, or what I think of as a golden age, between 10.2 and 10.3. The features were there, and there was enough eye candy to keep most users happy. But, Apple didn’t sacrifice power for eye candy. Then came 10.4, where Apple integrated the Dashboard, and Spotlight. Now, these may seem like nice features to some users, but to others, it was a hurtful gesture. Apple chose to have 10.4 NOT update the locate database because, after all, they’d included this really nice new search into Finder. Not automatically updating the locate database is something that many who use the command line grow angry over. Sure, Spotlight can find all your files, but what if you’re looking for files in system directories that Spotlight won’t search? Tough luck, pull out Onyx and update the database. Dashboard, ugh, what a useless feature. Sure, many people use it and love it, but have they ever wondered “What is Finder doing, and what is it taking so bloody long?” Well, that’s because Dashboard is based on Windows code, meaning, it uses as much memory as it possibly can, without giving you features that a resource hog of that size should.

    If you talk to people who work in the video card industry, they’ll tell you that Mac OS X, in addition to not having regular OpenGL libraries, renders all text with the 3D portion of the video card. To think that a company so compelled to tell you how long their new and improved laptop will run on battery power would do this is simply shocking.

    Time machine seems like it will be a useful feature, but only if Apple starts shipping TeraByte hard drives with all their machines. I don’t know about other users, but I certainly burn the disk space, and I don’t need my OS to use even more backing up stuff that I’ve already burned to a DVD. What about sensitive information, you say? Well, I’m sure that other users are in agreement with me here, but the fact that Time Machine is nice enough to keep files that you deleted, intentionally, isn’t a gratifying thought. When I delete something, through emptying the Trash, Securely Empyting the Trash, or with ‘rm -rf’ I want that data GONE. Sure, this can lead to mistakes which you wish you could revert, but that’s what making your own backups are for. When your hard drive dies, where will your Time Machine be?

    I have 300MB of memory free, why is OS X eating into swap?
    Apple, establish a swap partition similar to the one used by Linux and store your SleepImage there, I’m tired of having my disk space stolen!

  5. @George Weasley

    Ever heard of No-Script? If you had, you wouldn’t have disturbed your fellow employees and had your machine so rudely hi-jacked.

    Before anyone flames me for being Pro/Anti-Mac, I run Mac OS X 10.4 on my PowerBook, and Linux on my PC.

    Windows is for n00bs and grandmothers who hate a challenge. Get a *real* OS, one with descent command line! Stop catching those viruses, I’m tired of spam.

  6. George: RIP, it’s been removed. Sickos…..

    Canada: I fully agree with you personally, but you have to realize, we’re in the minority here. Most OS X users aren’t looking for a power OS, they just want something that looks really really flashy, is new, and is “cool.” Oh, and it should work.

    Windows 2003 (and now Vista, but with a lot of bloat) had “timemachine” working just great with something called “Shadow Copy.” It was a very space and resource-efficient method of retreiving past versions of files – unfortunately Windows Vista added a lot of bloat to that system, but it still works just fine and dynamically frees up old and unused entries, which is further customizable at the users’ choice.

    Honestly, right now both Windows Vista and Mac OS X are out of the run for the “best OS” award, and maybe even the “decent OS” award too… They’re just losing touch with their users, and adding bloat left and right. What you said about Finder is absoloutely 100% true of the Windows Vista instant search feature as well.. But thankfully Vista lets you disable that feature. Same for Dashboard/Sidebar in Tiger/Vista – just slow bloated code that’s fancy iCandy and nothing else.

    Hopefully once FC7 and Ubuntu 7.0.4 go gold there’ll be a couple of decent OSes to last the remainder of the year.

  7. I got caught too…

    Dammit.

    @Canada3332

    No-script? What’s the point? Prevents websites showing how they’re meant to look, and wastes so much time! Despite it being one of the most “popular” Firefox addons, most users who download it get rid of it after a couple of days. What’s the point in being so paranoid you can’t even enjoy the internet any more?

  8. CG: thanks!

    Canada, how can you say Windows is for noobs and grandmas, while you are using OS X of all the operating systems out there!? You seriously consider OS X to be a more “serious” OS!?

  9. Exactly, I’d rather rely on the general good karma all over the net, and of course, on excellent webmasters who deal with this stuff the right way :)

  10. @Computer Guru:
    Why wait for them to go final? I’ve been running FC7 Test 2 on my PVR and another computer (that one was testing NVidia drivers and some games) for a while now, and I’ve noticed no instabilities that are critical to the OS. One thing I dislike about Ubuntu is they seem to pump out different versions without regard to quality control. I’ve been using Edgy since it was released, and I’m still waiting for V4L, dvdrip, and SMP to be fixed. I’ve filed bug reports for all of them, and none of them have been acknowledged or fixed. That’s why I’m *not* going to be upgrading to Feisty. Ubuntu has claimed, as many others have, that they have support for Airport Extreme, which is a laughable claim. I’ve tried FC5, FC6, Ubuntu Dapper, Edgy, and Feisty, and ONLY YDL 5.0.1 has been able to give me a wireless link, and even then, it’s sketchy.

    Mac OS X is like a child, you tell it not to do something, and it doesn’t, for a week. Then, you come back to find it doing the same thing you told it not to. Mac OS X 10.4.2 included the ‘feature’ of hibernating to the hard drive when battery life became critical. Now, I had nothing against this feature at the start, but, running a dual boot system, I noticed that whenever Mac OS X wrote said image, it would overwrite yaboot (similar to lilo). This annoyed me greatly. Every time I wanted to boot into linux, I’d have to go into OpenFirmware and change the nvram setting. So, I finally find a command that will stop OS X from overwriting the nvram value, since it will resume from the hibernate image without the value, and what does it do? Couple weeks later, it goes back to overwriting my nvram. It seems to loose this setting whenever you update Mac OS X to a newer version. Is it so hard to remember a setting? No, my Linux machines do it all the time.

    Final verdict, OS X sucks out loud for power users, but what is the alternative? As I see it, there is none. If you’re running OS X on a RISC PowerPC based mac, as I am, then your only alternative is the even less attractive PPC linux. What is the ultimate solution then? Apple needs to give power users what they want, which is the ability to tweak the settings of their applications, and in some cases, disable them completely.

    What does Ubuntu need to do? Stop listening to users who want their latest iCandy to look more like Windows Vista and concentrate on the OS critical things. The V4L module bug, which is actually a problem with khubd, occurs when you start the computer with a V4L device plugged in, which is when khubd grabs it, and you unplug it because none of your applications can access it (go figure…). So, the only way to fix the resulting CPU hog is to reboot, which is so non-linux I’m surprised they haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet. DVDrip has been broken since before Dapper, I don’t use linux because I want to obey stupid copy right laws that don’t even apply in my country. I want PLF, I want to have the power to rip a DVD if I so choose. It is not your job to make sure I don’t do bad stuff, that’s the job of the Police, leave something for them to do. Ah, right, SMP. Stupid SMP bugs get stumbled across when I try to run Wine, annoying, h311 yeah, especially since wine is broken until you restart after it happens.

    Would someone please listen to the cry of the power users and make an OS like Gentoo, but with the difficulty turned down, just a little bit. Please?

  11. Take a look at SkyOS. We’re currently reviewing it for a full-length feature article at NeoSmart Technologies, and it’s a great OS that looks swell (kinda like OS X), is really really fast, and has tons of power-user options.

    It’s only drawback? No software…. It has Mono now, but not much else….

  12. You’re all noobs.  Even when you delete something, the filesystem just marks it for deletion.  The data is still there physically on the disc.  I’ve deleted things I shouldn’t have, and was able to “undelete” it no problem.  Just as long as you catch it fast, or you have multiple partitions (anyone with half a brain should have a small partition with the OS installed and the rest with important info) you will be fine, since the data is only lost when it is over-written (and even then the data is still “ghosted” on the physical disc).

    This is yet another way that Apple just takes things most geeks can do, makes it so anyone can do it, and then charges them an absurd amount of money for it.  Apple preys on people who aren’t tech savvy.  Like it or not.  I’m not saying that all OSX users are morons, but look at it.  There’s plenty of mac fan boys and fan girls who don’t even know what BSD is, yet, its the very core of their OSX. 

     Before I get labeled as a M$ fan boy, you all should know that I am on Linux right now.  So now, I’m actually going to STICK UP FOR M$.  M$ cares more about security than Apple, even if Apple is more secure.  I just view OSX as a glorified BSD with eye candy and the freedom of open source removed.  At least with windows, you have choices.  What do you have with OSX?  You get what Apple wants, that’s it.  If M$ was closed down, it would crash a lot less, because M$ wouldn’t have to make an operating system that caters to anyone who wants to program for it.  Look at how many XP BSODs are caused because of the kernel or another key component.  It’s usually a third party driver or program (at least in my experience)

  13. @George Weasley:
    IF you’d read my post, you would have realized that I strongly dislike OS X, but that there is nothing better to jump too. You would also know that I use Linux, and am a very avid linux user. I’d say my usage habits are 85%/15% with Linux and Mac OS X, respectively.

    @chezzo:
    Sure, you’d think that it would be a useless feature since you’re probably one of the users who tried used it and got ‘rid of it after a couple of days.’ I’ve used No-Script for a long time, and I have no plans on ever letting it go. It has proved far more useful than harmful, and it blocks all kind of stuff. Sure, it impacts some sites, but in that case you just disable it for that site, and problem solved. Me telling you how useful I find it won’t do you much good, you simply have to try it for a descent amount of time. If a site has content that No-Script is blocking, or contains plugins that x64 Firefox can’t handle, then I’ll run a Windows version of Firefox to view that page, but it’s in a controlled environment. The point is, No-Script blocks far more bad scripts (ie. browser taking over your computer, annoying Java script not letting you leave, sounds, opening more windows when you close one, and advertisements) than good scripts. I have a virtually ad free browsing experience because of No-Script. No-Script combined with Privoxy makes for the most pleasant browsing experience I’ve ever had. You should try it some time.

  14. If you’re running PPC, then you’re right, you really have no choice.
    Just get a $200 PC and stick Linux on it – it’ll be a better experience :)

    For me, beta software isn’t a problem. I currently dual-boot FC7 Test 2, Ubuntu Beta, my own (now ancient) LFS, and Longhorn Server – because Vista sucks, and LHS is a lot better, and I need Windows for my programming work.

    But I’m not about to deploy a beta OS on a friend’s PC – I’ll never get a minute’s rest afterwards.

    I agree, Ubuntu has its host of problems, but like it or not, it’s the biggest contender from Linux’ side in the OS war thanks to its ease-of-use and power.

  15. sdlvx: I never said Windows was a crap OS, just Vista. Windows XP SP2 is pretty darn good for most things, and Windows Server 2003 is even better. Vista is a total and complete failure, and I’m just hoping LHS fixes that…. Because XP SP2, despite its strong points, is ancient and needs to go.

  16. @ Computer Guru

    I know you didn’t but every raging mac fan boy and fan girl seems to think so, so I thought I’d get it out there.  Maybe I can get a few of those poor lost and brainwashed OSX lemmings to see the light that NO OS is great and they all have their strong and weakpoints (just OSX has the most weakpoints because when you take away BSD, you aren’t left with much).   

  17. @sdlvx:

    “Maybe I can get a few of those poor lost and brainwashed OSX lemmings to see the light that NO OS is great and they all have their strong and weakpoints (just OSX has the most weakpoints because when you take away BSD, you aren?t left with much). ”

    When you take away all the features that Microsoft promised in Vista, you aren’t left with much either, except maybe the fact that you can still run ‘unauthorized’ code, and be infected with viruses/malware/spyware.

  18. What everyone seems to have forgotten is that the iPhone is US centric. Living in the UK I don’t care about the iPhone. In fact with it’s current spec even if it were available I wouldn’t care about it since it’s not 3G and it doesn’t support work standards such as MMS and the like.

    I am interested in Leopard and the delay is a disappointment. Those who have commented on OS-X above may be interest to know that I’ve used Linux since 1994 and Windows since 3.0. My machine of choice in the early 90s though was an Acorn RISC based computer running RISC OS. I never got on with the 16 bit Windows even though I was paid to program it which is why I used Linux at home. The 32 bit versions of Windows are definitely an improvement, XP is almost good, although I hate the way everything changes between each version.

    Back in the mid 90s I used to think that Linux would be great in a few years time with everything working together. Now I’ve given up waiting. Don’t get me wrong things have improved and distributions like Ubuntu are pretty good but you still need to be a geek to do anything out of the ordinary and I shouldn’t need to recompile the kernel just to run a VPN client.

    I develop embedded products with Linux as the OS for a living. I spend my life hacking kernels, writing drivers and applications. I run Ubuntu on my works Dell laptop to develop and XP to write documents for the clients. I can’t avoid that except that most of my development is carried out on my Mac which also runs Word so I can write the documents on it too so I hardly use the Dell except when debugging.

    I bought a Mac because I’m fed up with the messing around both Linux and Windows requires. I just want my computer to work at home. I want to be able to watch movies, listen to music, write documents, code, record my guitar and so on. My Mac does that for me. I actually have two, a G4 iBook and a G4 Power Mac (which I got used for $100). My iBook goes everywhere with me and contains my life. My Power Mac is partially a back up machine, partially a server. I have a linux/XP PC at home too but I hardly ever use it. In fact it wasn’t turned on for four months.

    Some time this year I will probably upgrade to a Mac Book Pro and the Dell will be retired. And yes I was looking forward to Leopard. I currently use Backup and a second Firewire drive to backup my data. Time machine is of interest to me. The iPhone isn’t.

  19. Ok…this Mac-bashing has gone on long enough. As an IT administrator who handles ALL platforms in a medium-large organization, I have to say this:

    1. Windows is a joke…plain and simple. We have more problems with this platform than any other. Period.

    2. Linux is a rock solid OS with a very bright future. Unfortunately for us it is NOT user-friendly to custom configure (for the average user). You MUST be a geek to get things to work the way you want them to. We just spent an entire day trying to get wireless cards on some HP laptops working in Ubuntu. YOU might find that fun, people out in the REAL WORLD don’t. There are also very limited choices when it comes to multimedia software. Try to give your grandma a linux box and have her edit some vacation video on it, and then burn it to DVD. The hours that you spend just getting her a solution are easily made up by spending a bit more money and buying a box/platform that does that EASILY. (see below)

    3. Mac OS X wins in terms of power, customization ability, and usability. And to the guy above crying about his boot loader, get a grip. Apple owns their platform. Get over it. If you want to hack at it, they don’t give a rats ass, but don’t cry when your customization breaks THEIR platform and they FIX it.

  20. let me know when your “real” OS, linux, will run the software i use that earns me a living.

  21. Canada3332: You are quite wrong in claiming that the locate database is not updated. Please take a look in “/etc/periodic/weekly/500.weekly” and tell us what you find.

    Also, both debian and Red Hat/Fedora can and do overwrite configuration files form time to time, so don’t pretend that linux “magically works.” More specifically, I have hibernate turned off on one of my machines since the battery is old and by the time the OS decides its critically low its too late to spin-up the HDD for hibernation (but a normal sleep might last long enough for me to plug it in). At least on that computer, I’ve never had it turn itself back on after an update.

    In short, Canada3332, your information is wrong. I understand and respect your point of view, but you are just being a “mac zealot” for linux, not a reasoned voice.

    Sincerely,

    JP

  22. A couple of varied comments.

    First, I disagree with the main argument of the article. It seems that most of the Apple user base was more interested in Leopard than the iPhone. It is odd to me that Apple got themselves in this situation. They should have better managed their engineering groups so that they didn’t get into this bind. Give that they did get into this spot I think they made a good choice. Painful as it is for me, I think that giving priority to the iPhone will make them more money and expand the user base by bringing in more people who are not yet OS X users.

    I do wish they would have decoupled iLife and iWork from Leopard. If they had done that and released updates to those this spring it would be much easier to bear the delay of Leopard. I use iWork a lot and was looking forward to doing better in my customer relations with the anticipated new features. Leopard is still an unknown quantity so it is hard to feel bad about not getting what I don’t know about.

    Second, there was a fair bit of commentary in the follow on comments along the line of criticizing users for not knowing more about their computers and operating systems. I disagree. People should know a little about the tools they use so they can make intelligent judgments about their use and have reasonable expectations of what they can do. It is unreasonable to expect most of us to be expert on all the tools we use. You may be intimately acquainted with the details of computer operating systems. How much do you know about the metallurgy involved in the design of your car. Are you versed in the amount of case hardening needed for the gears in the transmission? How about the physics of large molecules involved in the medicines you take or the foods you eat? My point is that in this age every time we turn around we are faced with oceans of information and knowledge that it takes a lifetime to acquire. Yet we somehow have to make decisions and choices with the little information we have somehow managed to acquire and remember. That is the great thing about Macs, not that they are cutting edge tools for computer scientists but that they are useful tools for most people who just want to get something done.

  23. you’re all a bunch of noobs. OS choice is a matter of personal preference, and power users for every platform abound. it’s pretty easy to pick ‘em out- they’re the folks who spend their time rolling their own solutions, rather than bitching about things. if you idiots spent half the time you’ve wasted here learning how to program and actually *use* your computers, you’d all have a lot less to gripe about. grow up and solve your problems instead of demanding that other people do it for you.

  24. To: George Weasley

    A real OS… Hmmm BSD _is_ a real OS! and has been around a lot longer then any one you mentioned! … More so then GNU/Linux (more a political statement then an OS) or Windows (more a virus then an OS) and I prefer BSD to the Solaris (a bloated changling) System V junk any day!.

    For a supposed “geek” you are truly OS-ignorant!

    TBM

  25. Mac OS X is a much more serious OS than Windows Vista. Yes, it does have a tremendously simple UI. How is that anything but a positive? Yes there is some eye candy…and that is what Vista has too. Have you ever tried XGL? It is like a combo of Mac and Windows eye candy except that it takes it to new extremes for your Linux desktop.

    Mac OS X is designed to be extremely user friendly, and it succeeds there. However, it is still a fully capable Unix based system. If you do not know that much than you do not know jack about Mac OS.

  26. Skimming through the comments, and one line by sdlvx caught my eye:

    ‘This is yet another way that Apple just takes things most geeks can do, makes it so anyone can do it, and then charges them an absurd amount of money for it.’

    Walk up to random people on the sidewalk, and start talking about boot partitions. Odds are, they’ll stare at you with a funny look and then look for ways to politely excuse themselves from the conversation.

    Most people, probably unlike most of those reading and commenting on these places, don’t want to know that much about how computers work, just like they don’t want to know all that much about how their refridgerators and cars work. A computer is a tool, and they don’t want to spend fourty hours futzing about it to make it work.

    “Most geeks,” you say? Most people *aren’t* geeks. They have other things to do with their time, and they would be *happy* to pay people – people such as Apple – to make, fix, and improve computers for them, just like they would pay car mechanics. Last I checked, a single user licence for Tiger costs $130. For that, people can get a stable, virus-free OS with a pretty good set of software that they don’t have to put 40 hours of work into to set up. That’s hardly an absurd amount of money – an oil change, new wiper blades, and a check-up for a car costs nearly three times that.

    Yes, I tried Linux. I distinctly remember trying to install three distros before I could get KDE to work, and another week before the computer started making sound. I’ve heard that Ubuntu is much more user-friendly – but do I really want to spend my free time, however little it is, installing and configuring and LEARNING a whole new OS, when I can go out and buy a copy of a well-designed and intuitive OS that I *know* will work with my laptop? I am a college student, not a technophobic grandmother. I’m probably a great deal more familiar with computers than the general population. I still like the Mac, because it’s convenient. Because it works.

    For all of you discussing open source, BSD, boot partition and all, bless you. You are geeks, and you are the engine that drives improvements. But if you try to sneer at us, the non-geeks, good luck – we outnumber you and outpurchase you, and Apple knows that.

    Just my two cents.

  27. I think you’re over thinking this one.  It’s not so much that Apples needs to catch the wave.  It’s that Apple needs the wave to be successful.  The instant they pre-viewed the product every other else in the business went to making the iPhone copy/killer. Apple can afford to let OS X slip a little.  What they can’t afford is a bad launch of the iPhone.  And I don’t think it’s the fan base they are worried about.  I think it’s the media.  They don’t want an Edsel, MS Bob, or PC Jr. brought up every time they go to release a new product.  Frankly, OS will get modest attention in the mainstream press.  But the iPhone?  The press is all over it. 

  28. Let’s get real.  The real reason is that they didn’t want 2 blockbuster products competing at the same time out there for consumer cash.  They know that people are waiting for the Phone and it really is the most important product to get out right now.

     Now the next part of the strategy is more cunning indeed.  It’s called Xmas Sales.  If they release in October, any patches/updates will make the product good to go by Xmas time, thereby giving 3 months of marketing the computer to the public with a NEW OS, kicking butt over the rivals out there.

    Hopefully we’ll see some upgrades to the iMac and MacBook lines before then, at least as a stop gap measure for the insatiable desire of those who have been waiting for the next generation of Intel upgrades.

  29. Hey Weasely,

    Judging from your posts, you must have a weasel’s brain in your gord. What an idiot. Windows? A REAL OS? A real virus, malware, adware, spyware, worm, sicko of all types and sizes magnet.

  30. well, Ubuntu is a powerful and easyier to use than most distros but when i was trying to install it initially x-server wouldn’t start so i had to install it on a text line then i had to install the latest graphics driver with the command line. i seriously doubt the average end-user would be able to do this. I believe in linux, i’ve used since i was 12. the fact is that apple’s target market is people who want their computers to just work(not after moding it, using a console, or messing with config files) when you think about it computers are supposed to make life easier. OS X is more user friendly than any distro i’ve used. and as for windows … its only useful for gaming. 

  31. I have a slightly different theory as to explain Apple’s decision.  Right or not, you decide ;)

    From the way I see it, there’s currently two generations/types of Apple fans.  The first (and usually older) is the OS fans who actually use it for functionality.  Keep in mind that not everybody uses it for stability and/or coding capabilities… but it is those I refer to.  The “geeks”, if you will.  The second generation, the up and coming, is the iPod generation.  It’s the fans that like sleek and sexy gadgets, that do not want to be categorized as geeks.  Some of these people use MacBooks because they look cool; because they give off this “I’m different from you” vibe and has a sexy interface. 

     Initially, Apple capitalized heavily from the first type… but since the launch of iPods, the second generation redefined Apple as a company that produces cool gadgets.  Granted, to most people reading this article, the second type would be what you consider stupid fanboys.  The ones that rave on and on about an Apple product without even knowing the full mechanisms inside of it.  But the truth holds that those stupid fanboys DO happen to provide Apple with lots of money, and maybe even a kind of status as a cool company.  Why do you think you’d see rappers listening to iPods in their music videos, and not them coding in OS X?  I mean, fine, you may scoff at the younglings that ogle their iPods, it’s true… it’s a huge money maker.  And to Apple and a lot of people out there, iPhone is the next iPod. 

     Now, enough ranting about the obvious.  Let me discuss something not so obvious to you immediately – potential induction.  Kids who grow up on iPods may possibly purchase a MacBook, but will not have a clue about all the features of OS X… but does it matter?  They still buy it.  A new version of OS X?  They’ll buy it if it means being up-to-date and hip and having a sexier interface.  Because Apple is the cool company. 

    So basically, iPod/iPhone is like an introduction drug… if such theory holds.  You can’t get much simpler than this.  It’s the same generation that will grow up being used to using OS X’s simple interface, and the ones that will provide loyal for the years to come.

     

  32. Re: George Weasley (if that is your real name :P)

    I run all three of those OSes (OSX, XP and Linux), on the same computer, which is (of course) a MacBook Pro. Or rather, I used  to run Fedora… but then I realised it was a weaker, less efficient, uglier version of Mac OS X. Why? Because OS X is, at heart, a Linux distro. Okay, it’s not actually Linux. But Darwin (the OS X kernel, but you already knew that, right?) is adapted from Unix (I think it is actually a flavour of Unix) and it runs Linux apps. So, it’s Linux. I still run Windows because it’s impossible to develop with .NET without it (shut up, I like .NET), and also because I need to do cross-platform operability checks. But outside of work I stay thoroughly in OS X.

    Oh, I’m sorry, did you say Mac users know nothing of technology? I’m a Mac user, I’m a web developer and I’ve been programming since I was eleven.

    So, fuck off.

    Re: Jacob

    I’m probably officially classed in the second generation, there – my first Apple product was a foruth-gen iPod. I was even pretty late to that game. And I’ll openly admit that Mac OS pre-OS X was, in short, a heap of shit. It was lightyears behind any of its contemporaries.

    But OS X works well. Very well. So well that you kind of think there might be some kind of magic involved, or that somewhere, there is an Apple engineer telling your computer what to do, because it can’t have possibly done that by itself.

    So, I think, be careful in your judgement of young Mac fans. They buy iPod because it’s cool – but they buy OS X because they realise just how well their iPod works. And let’s face it – they’re right to assume that OS X works just as well as an OS as the iPod does as a music player. (Even better!)

    Re: The article

    I think the reason Apple is hyping iPhone over Leopard is because Leopard is essentially catching up on things that many other OSes have had for a long time. Time Machine is something that has been built into XP for a long time and available as a seperate product long before that. Spaces – that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s a better implementation, but it’s something that’s been present in Linux for a long, long time. Front Row, Photo Booth – I already have those things. Advances in Spotlight, Dashboard, iChat and Mail – not worth the $200 price tag, really. Especially since I never use iChat or Mail.

    The only reason I’d get it would be for Xcode 3 or the slew of other developer-aimed improvements. Although I still say Cocoa needs a better IDE – Xcode doesn’t mix well with RAD.

    -gorman

  33. I agree. OS wars are lame…
    Really it’s just a matter of what you want to use it for.
    Windows is best for gaming at this point in time, preferably XP. 
    Macs are great for people who like managing their gadgets, photography, music,  ect. ect.
    Linux is perfect for a ‘geek’ who wants to write some code and work out their own patches for problems they might encounter.

    Personally I have three whiteboxes, two with Linux and one with XP, and I’m writing this on my MacBook Pro  with OS X Tiger on it. [I'm not spoiled, I have my own little computer fixing/recycling business goin' on!] Really people, you like what you like, get over it.

    By the way, I’m 15, and I’m a girl. Grawr. Not all geeks are guys!
    (=^.^=)

    Look it’s the end!

  34. Put it whatever way you like, the only reason Apple is anywhere near as successful as it is now is because of its dedicated fanbase.

    You are so full of it.

    So where would you put me in the? I have bought four years ago myself an iBook G4 – because all PC resellers had no single decently priced system to offer me.

    Call me a “mac-fanboy” – I’d rather tolerate labeling of silly bloggers/whinners – but my home system would work the way I want it to work. No more systems updates breaking stuff. No more working-driver-hunting. No more sleepless nights installing all the 3rd party stuff I need to make WinXP any usable. No more installation/uninstallation nightmares. No more 3rd party updates nightmares.

    I do not care about Apple politics. As long as they would be doing products which work – and work the way I like – I would be buying them. MSFT has politics too – but they do not have working product I’m interested in buying.

    And no, I’m in no way “Mac-fanboy”. I’m “Linux zealot” – though Gentoo/Debian advocacy was intentionally omitted. I like Apple’s Mac OS X/iBook/MacBook/iPod/Linux all for same single reason: they do – and do only – what I ask it to do and the way I ask them to do.

  35. I’ve given Linux to friends who know very little about computers. It works for them, because they rarely ever want to do anything more than emailing, browsing and text editing. I don’t think my granny would want to video edit.. and Linux isn’t that far off from having an alternative to the Gimp. Power users generally have a hard time, because it often takes longer to do the same tasks.

    Techies want a good commandline, which is why the Mac is somewhat appealing. I’ve been using Macs since last Summer at work and at home, but what annoys me most is the lack of support for projects like Ports and Fink. This is an area which shines on Linux, and better support would provide alternatives to the rather palid applications on the Mac.

    If it wasn’t for vmware porting to the mac, I don’t think I would stay here very long…

  36. I don’t think this was intended to turn into a full-scale OS war……

  37. No, Maryanne, it most certainly wasn’t.
    This article’s only purpose was to provide a possible explanation for why OS X Leopard may have been delayed…

    However, you have to understand why discussions like this happen… I guess it’s just we’re all geeks, and geeks love to debate.. emotionally!

    So what better thing to debate than the very platform that runs everything? It’s a way of life more than just some code :)
    Definitely more interesting than the Browser Wars anyway – and a lot less clear cut.

  38. Oh? Well, I use Linux myself, but only because I?m waiting for Windows Vista SP1.

  39. Unfortunately, Apple’s decision makes sense for US consumers. But they are annoying the rest of the world as the iPhone isn’t getting a worldwide launch.

    Many are delaying switching to the Mac or delaying a hardware upgrade specifically to avoid having to pay the Leopard upgrade fee.
     

  40. Fuck, what? No worldwide iPhone?

    Oh, FUCK YOU APPLE. FUCK YOU.

    Er, not that I was actually planning on paying a thousand dollars for an iPhone. But, I mean, if it came on a plan, or something…
    (PS that is a thousand AUD.)

  41. This decision from apple is perfect! i think the iphone release on 11.06.2007 is more important than other products… iphone is one of the biggest product releases in the world!

  42. Hi,

    nice article and analysis you wrote there. As a PC user I don’t really care about Leopard at all and didn’t even know there was a hype. I honestly thought the iPhone is THE most hyped-up thing Apple has to offer right now. Well, whatever, I really can’t wait for the iPhone, this thing looks just aweseome.

    Sven Schoene

  43. Do somebody knows, if european people also can order iphone in usa by AT&T. Or is the iphone Version “1.0” only for amerikanish people? Can i use the iPhone in europe also? bye

  44. Martin, AT&T is a GPRS (or was it CDMA?) network and isn’t compatible with the GSM networks in Europe and Asia.

    You’ll have to wait until the iPhone is made available to Cingular (I believe they’re next in line) which uses the (much better) GSM network, then buy an “unlocked” version of the iPhone online or buy a Cingular locked-in version and unlock it yourself.

    But I highly doubt “version 1.0″ for AT&T will come with a GSM port.

  45. Apple not only has a fan base but a share holder/ investor base as well to please as well. As I see it, Apple would gain much more in terms of revenue and profit by selling iPhones when compared to OS X

  46. I’ve been using Macs since they were called Apples, and I gotta say, yeah…OS wars do suck. However, they are a vital part of geek life so…Fuck you Windoze users! Why in the hell anyone would put themselves through the agony and daily defeat that is the M$ experience is a complete mystery to me. I wish you could see the look on my face; it’s just…disgust. And, at the same time, pity. That’s it. Flame on!

  47. Oh, and regardless of when it comes out, $600USD is just insane for a glorified phone. This particular Mac fanboy doesn’t really care. Maybe that’s because I’m in the first generation Mac group. I don’t know. One other thing: I don’t have an iPod either. That one’s not cost related. I’m just not that into music. The only Apple product I’m interested in is the Macintosh. Once again, it boils down to one inevitable truth: You will use what you like and what you’re used to, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says to the contrary. Screw ‘em.

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