Apple resellers to pounce on Leopard release

Apple resellers to pounce on Leopard release

Apple resellers are quietly confident the next iteration of the vendor's 64-bit Mac OS X 10.5, dubbed Leopard, will be a sales winner upon its global release on October 26.

Next Byte joint managing director, Tim Kleeman, said Leopard was set to be twice as big as the launch of Tiger, the previous version of the operating system, Mac OS X 10.4.

"I think Leopard deserves to be called the no-brainer upgrade," he said.

"There are so many features, and our staff have been playing with beta versions and reporting better speeds. It seems Apple has optimised the OS for Intel chipsets."

Kleeman also highlighted Leopard's price of $158 for a single user or $249 for a five-user, single residence licence, as another key selling point for resellers.

Digital Appeal sales manager, Josh Maynard, said there had been growing interest in Leopard for some time. He claimed it had even stymied some hardware sales. "People have actually held off buying a new Mac because they knew Leopard was coming in October," he said.

"We had a lot of customers in recent months asking if they'd get a free upgrade to Leopard and, because they wouldn't, it created a bit of an issue with our sales figures being where they needed to be. But we will end the year well now."

Although Apple pushed back Leopard's launch last April, saying it needed to shift development work to the then-upcoming iPhone, the delay didn't ding Apple, Technology Business Research analyst, Ezra Gottheil, said.

Academy Store managing director, Ben Morgan, has already held an internal seminar for members of the reseller's Procard program.

Both Morgan and Kleeman spoke in glowing terms of new features in the OS, such as Time Machine, which lets users backup data, find lost files and - when used in conjunction with an external hard drive - restore the entire system. "This OS will do for the computer what the iPod did for music and both Apple's channel and the independents are growing aggressively on this," Morgan said.

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