Leopard: A Coupon, Please, Apple

Just one thought on today’s announcement that OS X 10.5 has been delayed until October: Apple, please just offer a coupon to the many, many people who have been holding off on buying a Mac until Leopard’s released.

I get lots of telephone calls and e-mails from friends in this situation – people I’ll call latter-day halo effecters. Existing Mac users waiting for the latest and greatest may be mildly disappointed by the delay, but those who have been waiting patiently to buy their first Macs are in a different state of mind today; their hopes were just dashed. Or will be, when they hear the news over the next few days. Another Leopard delay is another 6 months of being stuck with a PC they hate enough to ditch.

A coupon is an easy way to remedy this: “buy a Mac now, get Leopard when it’s released.” Speaking solely for myself, I know that my next Mac purchase—planned for the next wave of updates—would be a no-brainer with that sort of guarantee. While there are counter-arguments to be made, namely that doing this might shorten the lines of pent-up demand come Leopard’s release in October, or force Apple’s accountants to postpone some revenue recognition until a later quarter, I think it’d be worth it to build goodwill and the Mac’s user base at a time when lots of people are ready to make the switch.

Readers, what do you think?