Apple has announced that it has put the brakes on the development of its latest operating system. Previously expected by late spring, OS X 10.5 - named Leopard - is now scheduled for release in October, barring any further delays.
The company said that it has sacrificed Leopard to hasten progress on its iPhone project. The Apple iPhone is due for release in the US this June, and Steve Jobs has had to take some key programmers away from the Leopard job to ensure the iPhone is ready for the summer.
"iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price; we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our MacOS X team," Apple said.
The iPhone runs a version of OS X which means that Apple's software team are able to help out on other projects.
"While Leopard's features will be complete by [June], we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us," the company said.
"We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we're sure we've made the right ones."
The delay has been widely expected , even though Apple said last month that OS X 10.5 Leopard would launch " as previously announced "; that is, late spring - or just in time for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) which takes place on 11-15 June .
But despite the speculation, no one expected Leopard to arrive so late in the year.
The 10.5 update to OS X will include new features including support for writing 64-bit graphical user interface applications, a Time Machine automated file backup and support for Spotlight searches across multiple machines as well.
Apple has not revealed the full fixture of features to the public yet, so there are likely to be some interesting surprises when the operating system finally drops in autumn.