iPhone Steals Engineers From Apple's Leopard OS - InformationWeek

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4/13/2007
08:52 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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iPhone Steals Engineers From Apple's Leopard OS

There have been several rumors in the last few weeks that Apple's newest operating system, Leopard, would be delayed until the fall. Apple confirmed those rumors yesterday and announced that it had to reallocate engineers from its Leopard team to work on the

There have been several rumors in the last few weeks that Apple's newest operating system, Leopard, would be delayed until the fall. Apple confirmed those rumors yesterday and announced that it had to reallocate engineers from its Leopard team to work on the iPhone instead, which is contributing to the delay. I guess the iPhone is giving Apple some internal headaches.Fear not, however. According to the tidy little statement on Apple's news page, the iPhone will still ship in June. The cost to releasing the iPhone on time, however, is a major delay in the launch of Apple's core product, its operating system. OS X 10.5, also called Leopard, was supposed to be available this spring, and more specifically at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. While the beta version will be available to developers at the conference, the final OS won't ship until October.

While I am relieved that Apple will release the iPhone on time - and how can it not, the buzz is already reaching fever pitch - such a delay for its mainstay product is troublesome.

The statement goes on to say that, "iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned. We can't wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is. However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price-we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team."

It's interesting to me that whatever team Apple assembled to tackle the iPhone wasn't able to get the job done. It obviously underestimated the difficulty in developing and engineering the product. I would tack some of that up to inexperience. Apple has never made a phone before. They may seem like commoditized technology to some, but cell phones are more sophisticated than many believe.

But Apple is openly admitting that it's the software that's giving it issues. Maybe that clandestine Cingular tester, who claimed the iPhone's user interface had constant problems, wasn't wrong after all.

Hmm...

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