SAN JOSE, CALIF. - Apple said it won’t be shipping its nextgeneration operating system in June as planned, saying it had to divert resources from the project so that it could launch its highly anticipated iPhone on time.
The new shipment date for Mac OS X “Leopard” will be in October, the company said Thursday. The iPhone will make its debut in June as planned.
Apple shares dropped $1.75, or nearly 2 percent, to $90.44 in extended-session trading after the announcement. Earlier, they had closed at $92.19, down 40 cents, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The “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 (quality assurance) resources from our Mac OS X team,” Apple said in a statement.
Apple announced the iPhone — a smart phone that also serves as an iPod media player — in January to much fanfare. The Cupertino-based company said Thursday the iPhone is still on track to be shipped in late June and has passed several of the required certification tests.
Apple, which had previously said Leopard would be available in the spring, had hoped to release the Mac operating system upgrade at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a five-day event in San Francisco that starts June 11.
Instead, a “near-final version” of Leopard will be ready for the developers at the conference to take home, Apple said.
Though Leopard’s features will be complete by then, Apple said the company won’t be ready to ship what it considers a “quality release.”
“We think it’ll be worth the wait,” Apple said. “Life often presents trade-offs, and in this case we’re sure we’ve made the right ones.”
“If it came down to one product or the other slipping, they made the right choice for iPhone to be on time — where consumer demand and anticipation is already running high,” said Michael Gartenberg, an industry analyst at JupiterResearch.