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Apple to spell out timetable, price of OS X 10.9 on Monday

Gregg Keizer | June 10, 2013
Unless Apple departs from established practice, it will reveal ship month, set cost and announce free upgrade program

Apple will probably spill the timetable and pricing of the next version of OS X on Monday.

At 10 a.m. PT June 10, Apple will kick off the opening keynote for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which it's used in the past not only to outline some of the new features embedded in the upcoming OS X, but also to narrow the ship date and price of the upgrade.

OS X 10.9, which does not yet have a feline moniker, may play second fiddle to iOS 7 at WWDC, but it will undoubtedly consume a chunk of the presentation time Monday.

In 2009, 2011 and 2012, Apple used the keynote presentation to announce the month of availability for OS X Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion, respectively. There's no reason to expect any different this year for OS X 10.9.

If the company follows its own protocol, someone from the top-level executive suite will give customers a month-long window for the OS X release. CEO Tim Cook is expected to play a part in the keynote, as he did last year, although OS X's time in the light will probably be hosted by Craig Federighi, who heads both OS X and iOS development, an expanded role he assumed in October when he was handed iPhone software responsibilities after Scott Forstall's ouster.

A ship date for OS X 10.9 remains a mystery: Unlike last year or the year before, Apple did not seed outside developers with previews this spring.

Although Apple has said it would refresh the Mac operating system annually, those plans may have been disrupted by a reported diversion of OS X engineering talent to help the iOS team make its deadline. iOS 7 will allegedly undergo a user interface (UI) overhaul, with many expecting Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design, to reveal a flatter UI and streamlined user experience (UX).

If talk of a resource re-allocation is accurate, it would be a repeat of a 2007 maneuver when Apple pushed back the launch of OS X 10.5, aka Leopard, from June to October so it could put more bodies on the upcoming debut of iPhone OS, the then-name of iOS. Apple shipped Leopard Oct. 26, 2007, months later on the calendar than either its predecessor, OS X Tiger, or the three succeeding editions, Snow Leopard (August), Lion (July) and Mountain Lion (July).

Some observers, however, having spotted signs on Apple's bug-tracking system of OS X 10.9, recently posited that a near-final build will be handed to developers at WWDC.

While OS X 10.9's release may come later this year than last, Apple will almost certainly divulge the price next week: At the WWDCs of 2009, 2011 and 2012, Apple used the keynote to unveil OS X prices.

 

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