updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon April 16, 2007
iPhone Development Snags
The Leopard delay announced last week may be a sign of software development trouble for the iPhone, according to checks with component makers by research firm iSuppli. The group found that part suppliers are still slated to deliver the ingredients for the Apple device on time, suggesting that all the problems with the device rest with its software alone. Apple reportedly pushed the iPhone's release ahead slightly from the rumored June 11 launch to late June to overcome the difficulty.
"We're hearing it's mostly an issue with the complexity of the device," said iSuppli analyst Jagdish Rebello.
The expert also suggested that the shift of software team members from Mac OS X Leopard to the iPhone was in response to issues discovered late into the testing phase. "Typically the manufacturer and the service provider are making sure the phone meets all its specifications," he said. "It's clear they have found some issues that they need to fix."
Apple's statement last week didn't mention when the transfer had occurred, however. Financial researchers have also weighed in and posited the idea that the Leopard delay is more due to ambitious features than a shift of resources to a more urgent project. Envisioneering Group head Richard Doherty noted that the stakes were high and that Apple had to ship a truly polished device to avoid a backlash.
"They don't want it to be a version 1.0 of the iPhone, but version 4.9," he said, referring to the glitches that frequently surface in early hardware and software. "Apple wants to get it right the first time." Doherty added that he'd seen no obvious problems in the short amount of time he'd been given to try the handset.
Apple has so far supported these reports and claimed that the iPhone has already passed multiple key tests before it can be used on AT&T's cellular network this summer.