Apple released three updates of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system just six hours apart on Friday, suggesting that the company maybe drawing development to a close. This is just as well - Apple has long suggested that Leopard will ship at the end of October, so the Gold Master could be as little as three weeks away.

The first two updates fixed minor issues with the 9A527 version of the operating system and were made available via Software Update in developer previews of Leopard, says Apple Insider. It was quickly followed by build 9A559, which again addressed two minor problems - Archive and install for users of Macs with PowerPC processors, and problems with HP printer driver installation.

Apple's usual development cycle sees a flurry of updates issued to developers as the deadline approaches, then a quiet period before the Gold Master is issued. The speed of the current updates suggests that Leopard is already at the Release Candidate stage.

Tiger gets iPhone fix

Apple is also expected to update it current operating system, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The update - dubbed 10.4.11 - will address a host of issues found in earlier versions as well as an image syncing bug with the iPhone, our US correspondent Don Reisinger reports.

This will be the 11th update to Tiger since in launched in April 2005 - a lifetime for Mac users who are used to near annual updates to their favourite OS.