updated 04:20 pm EDT, Sat August 22, 2009
Snow Leopard in the wild?
Apple may be on the verge of shipping its Mac OS X Snow Leopard, if one user's claims of receiving an install of next of the next-generation operating system with his Mac Mini are to be believed. The user claims to have received the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard install DVD, then next version of Apple's operating system, when he purchased his Mac Mini in Japan. First noted by the Japanese version of Engadget, the photos and screenshots apparently confirm various slip-ups by Apple indicating that Snow Leopard is ready to ship very soon -- perhaps as early as next week.
According to the report, the Mac Mini was purchased on August 20th and the submitted photos show that it included a disc labeled with "Mac OS X version 10.6" and "Disc version 1.0, 2Z691-6492-A". To further support his claim, the user also submitted a few screenshots [in Japanese] of the software installer.
A slip-up on Apple UK's website last Thursday indicated that Snow Leopard may ship as early as August 28th, ahead of the expected September release, supporting the rumors that Snow Leopard went "Golden Master" (GM) with build 10A432 (the latest version seeded to developers) and that it was ready for mass production on DVDs.
Another glitch earlier this week showed Apple's Snow Leopard Box Set listing, which packages Mac OS X 10.6 with the iLife '09 and iWork '09 software suites. The set will be required for users upgrading from OS X 10.4, while pricing matches the previous Leopard Box Set price of $169.
Apple's Snow Leopard will be priced at $29 for a single user license (and is already available for pre-order from Amazon; a five-license family pack carries a price of $49, while a box set with iWork and iLife will be $169 and family box set will be $229.
Update: Several readers have noted their Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date Program orders -- for those Mac systems that shipped since Snow Leopard was announced in early June -- have been charged, a sign that the company is preparing the items for shipment.