updated 01:00 am EDT, Sat May 21, 2011
Snow Leopard stock thins in first countries
Signs Mac OS X Lion might be clearer materialized early Saturday as the Australian and New Zealand online Apple Stores listed delays for Snow Leopard. Anyone trying to order the current OS in the other country faced a delay of five to seven business days instead of the more typical 24 hours. Most other stores, including the US, Canada, Japan, and much of Europe, still showed regular ship times.
Apple is known to sometimes list shipping delays when it runs low on stock ahead of a new model. The pattern when it happens usually starts with more distant countries before working closer to the US and, in the current conditions, might hint that Apple is at the earliest phases of winding down shipments of Snow Leopard ahead of Lion.
A chance still exists that it could be a temporary disruption, although Apple rarely ever faces unintended shortages for its own software.
The new software won't necessarily be ready in time for WWDC on June 6. Developers are still working with Preview 3 and haven't yet been given signs that the OS is close enough that Apple could produce a gold master, or the finished build that will ship to users. Preview releases have been several weeks apart and would cast doubts on a finished version being ready at or close to the San Francisco conference.
Lion is still poised to be the focus of discussion at WWDC and should get at least a showing of all its features. If not ready to ship, it may be confident enough in progress to give a specific release date. Unlike last year, it will have the ability to launch the OS through the Mac App Store and won't have to wait for retail copies to arrive. [via 9to5]