Waiting for an iPhone SDK, improved Apple TV? Think Mac OS X Leopard

“Everyone was so excited to hear Steve Jobs say that the iPhone was built on a Mac OS X foundation that I think many people never really thought about the fact that he never specified which one. I believe that the iPhone is built on a Core Animation and Leopard foundation, and since some Leopard functions are still not public, Apple can’t release the SDK without (you knew this was coming) ‘letting the cat out of the bag,'” Carl Howe writes for Blackfriars’ Marketing.

“I have no direct confirmation of the statement above, but I have heard from developers that applications of all types are being held for the Leopard release. Why? Because they rely on either foundational data structures or features (typically Core Animation, but there are others; you can read about one rumored example here. I’ve made a similar claim about Apple TV as well; it won’t get its upgrades until after Leopard ships because it requires new OS-supported secure distribution services for high-definition and movie rental programming,” Howe writes.

MacDailyNews Note: Back in January, the well-regarded Apple expert Andy Ihnatko reported for The Chicago Sun-Times, “The iPhone runs the same OS as the Macintosh… Everything I’ve learned (both in official briefings and ‘you and I never spoke, all right?’ sort of discussions) says that it truly does run Leopard.”

Howe continues, “Now once the Leopard launch is complete and all the Leopard functions are public, all of these constraints will be relaxed… All good things come to those that wait. And Leopard and its support for iPhone functions is certainly worth waiting for.”

More in the full article here.


  1. Apple wont be stupid enough to lock in certain features on the iphone for Apple computers only……

    If so they would have done that already with the iPod or apple tv. the only reason the ipod has been such a success is because it works on all apple computers and the entire windows install base.

    The ONLY way this will be true is if apple opens up .Mac services to all computer users so you can have over the internet wireless sync of calenders, address book etc….

    I hope I am wrong, but I doubt I am.

  2. @eMax

    I don’t understand the comment. The features aren’t locked into the Macintosh, they are locked into the Macintosh OS, which is in the iPhone or AppleTV whether you sync to a Mac or to a Windows PC, at least where it has to do with iTunes integration.

    As for calenders and address books, there is nothing in this article that has anything to do with this. (I also know nothing about even trying to synch with Windows for this from my iPhone, as I only do this with my Mac, not my PC at the office).

  3. I tend to agree that iPhone is running an optimized Leopard.

    In January, when Jobs introduced the iPhone at MacWorld, he said that OS X had everything the iPhone would need, and he listed a bunch of attributes like “power management” and “networking.”

    On the slide behind him, “Core Animation” was listed. This is a Leopard feature and not a Tiger feature, no?

    I’m sure that when desktop Leopard is unleashed, we’ll see a number of features opened up–like to-do lists that integrate w/ the new Leopard to-do’s, etc.

  4. Dream on. Leopard has nothing to do with locking users out, it has to do with that multi-billion dollar juggernaut called iTunes. Apple is locking the user out of TV, the iPhone, and the iPod Touch for no other reason than to create a hardware based distribution network that keeps their digital content safe by not allow all those greedy users to do anything they don’t like.

  5. Of course it runs (pre-)Leopard. It’s not a secret. But if a SDK is being “held back,” then why wouldn’t they have just said so? It’s a perfectly reasonable course of action, and there’s no reason not to disclose that reason when everyone’s all pissed off.

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