Apple delays Leopard; iPhone on schedule

Maker of iPod, Mac computers needed resources for release of the iPhone.

NEW YORK ( -- Apple Inc. said Thursday it pushed back the release of its new operating system, Leopard, until October from its target date of June.

The company said the delay occurred because critical software and resources were needed to complete Apple's iPhone, which has passed several tests and is still on schedule to be released in late June.

Shares of Apple (Charts) tumbled 2.6 percent in after-hours trading on Nasdaq.

A near final version of Leopard will be shown at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where developers will be given a copy to perform final testing, the company said.

"We think it will be well worth the wait," Apple said in a statement. "Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we're sure we've made the right ones."

Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies in San Jose, California, said the delay in Leopard could slow the pop in sales that normally comes from die-hard Apple computer fans, who will now likely wait to buy new computers.

"I actually think the effect is going to be somewhat negligible," Bajarin said.

Leopard is expected to boast new features including a file backup feature called "Time Machine" and improvements to its e-mail and instant messaging software. Another feature allows users to move from their standard desktop view to an archival view showing every change made to a particular file.

-- Reuters contributed to this report


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