Apple Mac OS X operating system isn’t just for Macs any more

Apple Store“Apple’s operating system isn’t just for your Mac any more. It’s for your set-top box and your phone, too,” John O’Brien writes for The Courier-Mail.

“This point was rammed home in controversial style last week when Apple announced it was delaying the release of Mac OS X Leopard due to the programming resources it had to devote to its much-anticipated iPhone,” O’Brien writes. “While the iPhone will be released in the US in June as planned, Leopard will not be released until October.”

O’Brien writes, “The iPhone runs a cut-down version of Mac OS X, and Apple said it had redeployed its software engineers to the breakthrough portable device at the expense of the desktop version of OS X.”

“And with the recent release of the AppleTV, it’s clear Apple intends deploying variants of OS X across more of its devices. AppleTV, a wireless device that streams your iTunes library to your TV, also runs a ‘lite’ version of OS X (but is capable of running the fully fledged desktop version as well, as some enterprising hackers recently demonstrated),” O’Brien writes.

“It’s understandable why Apple would give the iPhone priority. While the Mac’s market share remains small, the future of personal technology is in specialised portable devices, and the iPhone stands a good chance of being the dominant player in mobile communications with its bleeding-edge features such as Multi-Touch screen, visual voicemail and advanced iPod mode,” O’Brien writes.

“The announcement of Leopard’s delay, especially so soon after Apple’s assurances that it was on schedule, sparked howls of protest from users, a three per cent stock dip and ‘don’t panic’ calls from analysts. Comparisons were immediately drawn with Microsoft, which recently shipped Windows Vista nearly four years late,” O’Brien writes. “However, the consensus is that the existing release of Mac OS X, Tiger, is still way ahead of Vista, and Apple can afford another few months to ensure Leopard is right before shipping it.”

Full article here.

Leander Kahney writes for Wired, “Computers may still be a key part of Apple’s universe, but there was a time not too long ago when the iPhone would have slipped in favor of a new Mac.”

“OS X is the unacknowledged killer app that propelled the company back to prominence among its core audience — computer users, not gadget freaks. The geek elite flocked to it like moths and paid gladly for each upgrade,” Kahney writes.

Kahney writes, “But the guy at Apple who calls the shots sees the Mac as old news now. ‘I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes,’ Jobs once told Rolling Stone.”

Kahney writes, “At the moment, the revolution is the iPhone’s touchscreen, not OS X Leopard’s point-and-click backup and recovery system. If you were honestly stoked about Time Machine, you’re now in the same shoes as a Mac user at the Genius Bar: Sorry, you’ll have to wait.”

Full article here.
Despite the temptation for some to say, “Apple doesn’t care (or care as much) about the Mac anymore,” we do not believe that Apple and Steve Jobs are any less enthusiastic about the Mac (which was for too many years the company’s sole focus). Quite the opposite, in fact. The Mac is simply spreading out as Apple grows into new markets. We view the Leopard delay as nothing more than evidence of growing pains. With the Apple TV shipping, the iPhone due in June, and once Apple transitions iPod to OS X, just imagine the possibilities for the Mac platform!

Related articles:
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard delay is a leadership failure – April 17, 2007
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard delay is a (somewhat) big deal – April 16, 2007
Apple buys 9 more acres in Cupertino – April 14, 2007
Apple’s latest Mac OS X Leopard build shows unified interface, buh-bye brushed-metal – April 14, 2007
eWeek’s Morgenstern: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard delay is no big whoop – April 13, 2007
InformationWeek blows it again: reports second delay of Leopard this year due to Vista compatibility – April 13, 2007
Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Piper Jaffray: Use Apple’s Leopard delay as buying opportunity – April 13, 2007
Analysts unconcerned over Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard delay – April 13, 2007
Apple delays Mac OS X Leopard until October 2007, blames iPhone – April 12, 2007
Latest Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard build still accompanied by lengthy bug list – April 12, 2007
RUMOR: Apple to release Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in June – April 02, 2007
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard to feature ZFS? – March 29, 2007
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard’s top secret ingredient: 3D everywhere, including new 3D Finder? – March 27, 2007
Apple to delay Leopard?’s poor Apple rumor accuracy – March 23, 2007
Apple to postpone Mac OS X Leopard until October in order to support Windows Vista? – March 23, 2007
RUMOR: Some Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard ‘top secret’ features leak out – January 26, 2007
Ihnatko: Hands-on with Apple’s iPhone (which runs Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard) – January 18, 2007
RUMOR: Apple Mac OS X Leopard to replace ‘Aqua’ with ‘Illuminous’ – December 11, 2006
Apple confirms ‘resolution independence’ and more coming in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – October 23, 2006
Cost of Apple’s second 50-acre Cupertino campus could top $500 million – April 25, 2006
Video: Steve Jobs meets Cupertino City Council – April 22, 2006
Transcript: Apple CEO Steve Jobs addresses the Cupertino City Council – April 20, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs plans new 50-acre campus in California – April 19, 2006


  1. Interesting that we think we can be sure so of the future, in any scenario – not just with Apple.

    “While the iPhone will be released in the US in June as planned, Leopard will not be released until October.”

    Truth is, neither of those are certain. Nor is the fact that any of us will wake up tomorrow morning.

    I know, probably too philosophical. Just thought this was a good time to take a step back and get a wider perspective admit all the screaming and predicting.

  2. I would have put a priority on the iPhone as well. This would put millions of Safari users on the net. Now what is the percentage of mac users then? Will web designers break from the Microsoft line and start to go open? This will have a great impact to web design, at least my belief, as they have a much larger share of the market not running windows media.

    For this I would delay the os. Think instead of 5 million new macs a year you get 15 to 25 million new macs on the net. Watch the stats rise like crazy into the 11 percent range for Safari.

    My thought!

  3. I think John Gruber said that we should start differentiating between
    “OS X” (this is how Steve described what iPhone runs) and “Mac OS X” (what Macs run). Same family, but there is that slight difference.

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