Industry analysts have cried wolf over Apple's recent announcement delaying the Leopard OS' release by a few months. Apple has explained that the iPhone requires more resources (engineering and QA) than previously expected and so they are shifting some manpower from the Leopard team to the iPhone team.
First of all, this is a 4 months delay - hardly anything compared to the years that Vista was delayed. This is not such a big deal. Not even to the hardcore mac guys. Why? Apple will only be delaying the Leopard so that they can thoroughly test it before releasing it. The actual OS will be complete by the WWDC in June as originally planned, but they will not have enough time to QA it before WWDC. And so, Apple is going to release a Beta version of the Leopard to the developers at WWDC for free. This will definitely keep them happy - for a while.
Many claim that this move signifies 'Apple abandoning the mac for some toys'. While this does initially look like the Mac were abandoning its staple Mac OS for the unpredictable and risky iPhone venture. But lets take a step back and look at the options that Apple had at this stage. Just a few months ago, the iPhone announcement received massive media coverage - almost every single publication (tech and non-tech) had something to say about the iPhone - and in most cases, the feedback was positive. The Leopard, which was announced a couple of Macworlds before the iPhone got almost no coverage when compared to the iPhone. While the Leopard 'represents' the Mac, its delay isn't such a big deal actually - especially when you compare it to what might have happened if Apple announced that they were delaying the iPhone.
Some argue that Apple has no right to give the excuse of insufficient manpower. They say that Apple should have no problem spending a little more money on hiring more engineers. Well, a look at the career section of the Apple website does show that they are hiring feverishly. However, hiring cannot help them solve a short-term problem like this. They had to shift resources.
It is also wrong to assume that the iPhone is completely independent of the 'Mac'. iPhone runs the Mac OS and its potential to turn PC users to the Mac is incredible. According to John Welch , the iLife, the iPhone and Final Cut Pro are all doing one thing - bringing back attention to the Mac. The iPhone is perhaps going to have a stronger influence on getting in new Mac users than the Leopard itself.
Therefore, concerns about Apple fumbling around are definitely misplaced. Steve and his guys know what they are doing and they seem to be on the right track. If all goes well, lots of people are going to be really happy when the iPhone comes out. And they will be pleasantly surprised to see Leopard when it does get released.
Check out my portfolio and analyses at Socialpicks.com