Top secret features suspect in Apple's Leopard delay

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple Inc. has placed the blame for missing its self-imposed Leopard release date on its itty-bitty iPhone device, but analysts on Wall Street suspect other culprits -- such as a widely touted but so far elusive set of "top secret" features destined for the next-generation Mac OS.



"While Apple cited a shift in resources to iPhone and more time for developers to beta test as reasons for the delay, our analysis indicates that if not for the 'secret' features, the core Leopard operating system would likely have shipped on time," American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu told clients on Friday. "We believe the extra time Apple is allocating is for developers to test secret features that will likely be revealed at its WWDC 2007 conference starting on June 11, 2007."



Gene Munster, a Sr. Analyst over at PiperJaffray, was similarly suspect of Apple's explanation, but chose to note the irony of the situation as it relates to rival Microsoft Corp. rather than point the finger at any one Apple initiative. "While we are not convinced the delay is entirely related to the iPhone, the important part is we believe Apple's product development remains robust, and the iPhone, Leopard, and other new products (announced in June) are coming," he wrote in a note to Apple investors. "Despite the PR black-eye Apple will get from delaying Leopard (given Apple routinely chastises Microsoft for product delays), the announcement included that Apple will release the iPhone on time in June."



Acknowledging that there are few certainties when it comes to specific release dates for high-profile Apple products, Munster said he sees the company's statement, while disappointing on the Leopard front, as a likely means of boosting confidence in a June arrival of the iPhone. "Apples track record at getting hardware out on time is hit or miss, as evidence by the recent one month slip of Apple TV," he said. "Apple's statement specified late June as the launch date of the iPhone, but Apple may deliver it earlier at the Worldwide Developers Conference, which begins on June 11."



Unlike Wu, who recently told clients that some prospective Mac buyers had already begun withholding their new computer purchases in anticipation of Leopard, Munster said he has observed "little-to-no delay" in that regard. In his note to clients, the PiperJaffray analyst said he believes Leopard is poised to serve as a catalyst for Mac sales whenever Apple gets around to shipping it. For the meantime, he's shifted an estimated 8 cents in earnings-per-share (or 2.6 percent) from the June '07 and Sept. '07 quarters into the Dec. '07 and March '08 quarters.



For his part, Wu said his recent reduction in near-term Mac assumptions already reflects the risk exposed by Leopard's delay. "We believe consensus sell-side estimates continue to be unsurprisingly aggressive and need to reset closer to ours," he told clients. "We view this delay in Leopard and reset in sell-side estimates as short-term issues. We see worst case downside risk to $80-85."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    The stock is taking nowhere near a hit as I thought it would.

    Are traders getting smarter?
  • Reply 2 of 77
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    I am a buyer at 80.
  • Reply 3 of 77
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post


    The stock is taking nowhere near a hit as I thought it would.

    Are traders getting smarter?



    No, they either (a) don't see Leopard as a big money-maker, and, as such, weren't planning on it having much of an effect on sales, and/or (b) WWDC is still months away, and traders tend not to get all excited over things 2 weeks away, let alone 2 months.



    But I'm just seeing this as more confirmation of my belief that the "super secret features" Jobs announced way back when were first heard about at apple at the same time, and they've been pushing the past nine months to come up with ideas to match the hype, then program them.
  • Reply 4 of 77
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TednDi View Post


    I am a buyer at 80.



    Ha! I'm a buyer at $12. Before it split!



    Then again, I'm also a seller at $25, so I guess it doesn't count, huh?
  • Reply 5 of 77
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    No, they either (a) don't see Leopard as a big money-maker, and, as such, weren't planning on it having much of an effect on sales, and/or (b) WWDC is still months away, and traders tend not to get all excited over things 2 weeks away, let alone 2 months.



    Leopard will certainly be source of revenue and profit, it's just the iPhone is even more important, especially to investors -- it's a potential opportunity for *massive* growth into an emerging market.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    But I'm just seeing this as more confirmation of my belief that the "super secret features" Jobs announced way back when were first heard about at apple at the same time, and they've been pushing the past nine months to come up with ideas to match the hype, then program them.



    I don't think I agree.



    Aqua was a 2-year project.



    If Apple is indeed planning a considerable UI refresh (as many, many, many hints suggest) they will have almost certainly started well before even Tiger's release date.



    These kinds of things take a lot of time.



    The 4 mo. delay seems to me more than anything the need to get the iPhone out on time (QA especially is a limited resource, and more OS X engineers than expected may been needed for the iPhone OS) *and* give developers time to tweak their apps for a very refreshed OS that pushes the envelope in design.
  • Reply 6 of 77
    fraklincfraklinc Posts: 244member
    as long as they are working to work issues out i dont have a problem, as long as leopard does not come out like vista i dont have a problem, vista should really be pull out of the shelves really i still can't believe that a company like msft can never get things right, i also dont like when apple rush stuff out like the new airport extreme, its like every week there trying to fix something diffenrent on it and on the one embeded in the machines, but at least there doing something and is getting better everytime
  • Reply 7 of 77
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Yesterday's announcement stated that Leopard will be delayed a few months but it also stated that iPhone will be on time. Of the two, the iPhone will undoubtedly generate more direct revenue and indirect revenue, such as people whose first introduction to OS X is the iPhone who then switch to Mac, than the Mac platform would. I believe teh stock is holding because it's only the Chicken Little, Mac-fanatics who are crying foul and who think that Apple has lost its focus.



    I'm looking forward to the iPhone's timely release and personally know several longtime Windows users who have been afraid to switch OS platforms who are ready to test the OS X waters with the iPhone.



    PS: For the first time in my life I'm really starting to hate Apple fans. Every year the hysteria seems to grow. The outcries over AppleTV's delay, the switch to Intel chips, the removal of "computer" from the name, etc.



    But why all this irrational behavior? This isn't the first time Apple focused on another product short-term in order to help increase Mac sales long-term: original iPod. Or bit off more than it could chew with its OS to meet some self-imposed deadline: Lisa, OS 10.0.
  • Reply 8 of 77
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    But I'm just seeing this as more confirmation of my belief that the "super secret features" Jobs announced way back when were first heard about at apple at the same time, and they've been pushing the past nine months to come up with ideas to match the hype, then program them.



    Do you seriously believe that? Jobs went on stage and announced secret features which didn't exist beyond his head or even at all?



    That sounds far-fetched in the extreme.
  • Reply 9 of 77
    What will these amazing "secret features" be?



    iClock that doubles as a walkie-talkie or a superdrive that shoots poison dars? Or both?



    The stock price isn't moving because nobody wants to look like an ass when iPhone gets great reviews and lots of orders or terrible reviews and tanks. Imagine what an exploding battery in the first few weeks would do to people's jeans and confidence. Or if the 5 hours of talktime per charge that apple claims on the non-user replaceably battery turns out to be closer to 4, and a month later 3... Or maybe a delay of a few months, or Cingular screws up somehow, or the terms of the 2 year agreement are as ridiculous as they probably will be. Or, conversely, it might be like Jesus in your pocket, answering your phone calls and playing your favorite christian rock albums perfectly and automatically finding the woman of your dreams at the club using wifi and your myspace profile. Nobody knows, but one way or another, the stock will move seriously when it arrives...
  • Reply 10 of 77
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Yeah, they need the extra four months to finish developing all the drivers that will ship with OSX 10.5 non-Apple hardware edition.



    I said it in this forum and others that WWDC will see only the beta and developers getting the build seeds have stated WWDC would be the soonest they'd expect a release.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    mugwumpmugwump Posts: 233member
    Yeah, add me to the list that these guys are guessing wrong, and that the Leopard top secret features are already nearly finished.



    But this is the summer of the iPhone. Either rush out Leopard soon with some serious core/ quicktime issues, or hold off for Fall. Because nothing shall compete with the iPhone.



    Not to mention, the back-to-school buying season is big enough to not require a new OS to spur sales. But the October quarter, on the other hand, has suffered slightly.
  • Reply 12 of 77
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    If they are THAT secret and THAT troublesome I wonder if the secret features have to do with Windows virtualisation.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post


    If they are THAT secret and THAT troublesome I wonder if the secret features have to do with Windows virtualisation.



    There are enough critical, core problems with Leopard as it is. What makes you think RedBox is the issue?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Yeah, they need the extra four months to finish developing all the drivers that will ship with OSX 10.5 non-Apple hardware edition.



    I seriously hope you are joking!
  • Reply 14 of 77
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    It's time for Mac users to admit that the whole delay was so Apple could perfect BootCamp after all!



  • Reply 15 of 77
    aquamacaquamac Posts: 585member
    When Leopard gets released will we have to pay to update the Tiger OS for Leopard?
  • Reply 16 of 77
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Isn't it odd that only a few short weeks ago Apple publicly stated that 10.5 would be released on time? It doesn't add up that the iPhone would, all of a sudden, cause that timetable to change by four months when the iPhone is only two months away.



    There has been suspicion that the "secret features" are hardware-related and any revelation of them will cause a product disclosure that Apple is holding very closely. This new announcement fits with that speculation if, in fact, there is some new top secret hardware that Apple is hiding and is delayed itself. Also, it could point to an all-new UI change as some have speculated as well and a major glitch was recently found that has set it back substantially.
  • Reply 17 of 77
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    There are enough critical, core problems with Leopard as it is. What makes you think RedBox is the issue?





    I seriously hope you are joking!







    I bet you were one that hoped that Apple going with Intel processors was a joke.
  • Reply 18 of 77
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    I hate the secret features. It's such a set-up for a huge let down, and now with this delay it's only going to be worse, even if they do get shown at WWDC ("You mean we have to wait an extra four months for that? Apple sucks!")



    I mean, really, it's such a dumb way to proceed, from a marketing perspective, to float "secret features" and then let everybody stew about that for the better part of a year. By the time you get something out the door people are expecting jaw-dropping magic. What's the upside of doing it this way? Are people going to not upgrade to Vista cause the heard tell maybe Apple might be doing something rad so they figured they would wait and see?



    So Apple better actually have jay-dropping magic, or they'll come off as silly and a little crazy. Which probably won't affect the sales of 10.5 one way or the other, but it doesn't help Apple's image, and it's all so very pointless.
  • Reply 19 of 77
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I mean, really, it's such a dumb way to proceed, from a marketing perspective, to float "secret features" and then let everybody stew about that for the better part of a year. By the time you get something out the door people are expecting jaw-dropping magic. What's the upside of doing it this way?



    There was comment at Macworld that based on what was shown by Jobs on 10.5 it didn't look like a big upgrade over 10.4. The "more to come" statement might have been there to reassure the faithful that it's going to be better and not as disappointing as it might have been perceived to be.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post






    I bet you were one that hoped that Apple going with Intel processors was a joke.



    Why would Apple moving to Intel be a joke? IBM wasn't moving fast enough and the notebook line (the fastest growing segment of personal computers) was dragging far behind. I predicted the jump a year before it was announced Though I assumed AMD would be chosen ? glad I was wrong on that end.



    How exactly do you equate Apple moving to Intel a sign that Apple will release OS X to run on any x86 hardware? There is absolutely no correlation! Apple makes it's money from selling hardware. Its loyal fan base is mainly derived from the simplicity and integration that can only come from tight integration of the OS with the hardware.
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