As I predicted on the 31st, Apple just announced the iPhone, and boy howdy is it ever sweet. I want one but, as I suspected, it totally lacks integration with Exchange. Most business users will probably yawn and go back to their Blackberries (even though RIMM is down 8% at the time that I write this…ouch).

The iPhone looks absolutely beautiful, and seems to run some variant of Mac OS X, which is quite shocking to me. Hopefully there will be an open application ecosystem for the phone, and I will be able to port iRooster over to it (the Windows Mobile version should be coming before too long, by the way).

But…Apple has dropped the word “Computer” from their corporate name. As their website has informed us for the past few days, the last 30 years were just the beginning. Apple, Inc. is a consumer electronics company. One of their products happens to be the Macintosh. No more and no less. The fact that we heard nary a word about Leopard or new Mac hardware doesn’t bode well for the future of the platform.

Sure, it’s not like Apple will kill off the Mac (anytime soon, at least), but Steve only has so many hours in the day to nitpickingly approve each critical Ux decision in the OS and hardware. If he’s off spending the majority of his time on iPhone, I find it hard to believe that Leopard could offer the same laser-like focus of past releases, like Panther.

Just a few weeks ago, Think Secret reported that:

significant stability issues persist [in Leopard], all but arresting any hopes for an early release at or around Macworld Expo San Francisco next month.

No substantial pieces of information have come out since Leopard’s official unveiling at WWDC last summer. Everyone expected MacWorld to have some updates on its progress, but we were all disappointed. We’re coming up on almost two years since the last major release of OS X, which is quite surprising. If you check out the table below, you’ll see that Leopard has taken the longest of any of Apple’s OS X releases (with the obvious exception of Cheetah, which arguably took 4 years).

Cheetah (10.0)24 Mar 2001N/A
Puma (10.1)25 Sept 20016 Months
Jaguar (10.2)24 Aug 200211 Months
Panther (10.3)24 Oct 200314 Months
Tiger (10.4)29 Apr 200518 Months
Leopard (10.5)???21 Months and counting

I wonder what version of OS X the iPhone will be running… If it’s Leopard, then we could surmise that iPhone and Leopard may ship simultaneously in June. In any case, I’m sad to see the Mac get the shaft at Apple.

Other interesting coverage: Frogdesign:

Apple has created one of the most accessible development platforms for data transfer and productivity apps to date on a mobile phone.

Gizmodo: 50 photos of the Jesus Phone