March 11, 2005 - Apple will officially announce Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's release at an event in early April and will begin shipping the operating system within two or three weeks afterwards, Think Secret has learned. Apple has previously only stated that Tiger will ship during the first half of the 2005.
The event, sources say, is currently scheduled for Friday, April 1 and will be delivered via satellite to numerous locations around the world. Unknown at this point is where the event will take place and whether the media or other outsiders will be invited to attend. Well placed sources say Tiger will likely be in stores by April 15.
Multiple pieces of information gleaned from sources in recent weeks have pointed to an April release date for Tiger. Apple has doubled the software metrics for stores and resellers for the second quarter, ending May 31, for example. While several new software titles slated for release at NAB on April 18 will boost software revenue for stores, Tiger will be the jewel that Apple expects will allow resellers to double their sales from the first quarter.
At least one of Apple's new pro apps the company will introduce at NAB will also require Tiger, sources say. Additionally, Apple is currently targeting updates to its iMac G5 and eMac systems for mid-April, which will come pre-installed with Tiger and iLife '05 (see related story).
In recent weeks, Apple has significantly increased the frequency of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger builds released to developers, another indication that development is rapidly wrapping up. Earlier this week, a gaffe on Apple's Mac OS X downloads page also listed three new categories pertaining to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: links to "Automater Actions," "Dashboard Widgets," and "Spotlight Plugins" all lead to pages that were not yet available at apple.com. Apple has since removed those links from the categories listing.
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger will sell for $129 and has been billed as the most substantial upgrade to Mac OS X since the operating system debuted.
QuickTime 7 will also be released with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, sources say. A Mac OS X 10.3-compatible version, code-named Gibson, will be released around the same time.