Leopard Was Slow to Ship And Cheaper Online


One Apple solution provider who declined to be identified for this story said he had pre-orders of the Leopard OS 10.5, and had customers coming into his store on Friday, Oct. 26, the day the product launched, but he had no software to sell.

Distributor Ingram Micro didn't get him Leopard until Tuesday.

"We did receive it late, so the sales we would have had on Friday we didn't have because we didn't have product," he said.

A spokesperson for Ingram Micro confirmed that customers who signed Apple embargos were able to receive the product ahead of the Oct. 26, 6 p.m. launch, but could not sell it until then. About 200 Apple VARs signed embargoes with Ingram.

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Ingram Micro's price is also not the lowest around, but he thinks it's fair. Ingram is reselling Leopard OS 10.5 for $112.

"Typically anything from Apple has a 10% margin and that has more than 10% so I would say that's a good price," he said.

E-tail behemoth Amazon.com is selling single-user editions of the Leopard OS for $109 with the option of free shipping, although customers who opt for free shipping often wait longer for their merchandise.

"Amazon is hoping you buy something else. And Amazon probably buys many more than we do so they're getting it cheaper," he said.

Owner of Apple specialist MacSensei, Drexel Hill, Pa., Yukio Tezuka said he ordered Leopard from Tech Data, Bell Micro, Ingram Micro and Apple, and Tech Data was the first to get the software into his hands on Monday morning. His Apple shipment arrived Monday afternoon.

"I don't think anybody got it Friday night except the Apple store. So I had to tell the customer to go to the Apple store, so it was a bad situation," said Tezuka. "I can't expect those people to [wait to] come to us. It's a sad story but some people were like, 'I have to have it!'"

For Tezuka, the price differences from different distributors and Apple amount to a few pennies here and there, so price isn't a consideration when Apple shopping.

Deals are to be had for those who look to buy the product online, with prices varying from Amazon.com's low of $109.00 with free shipping and no sales tax to full-priced versions retailing for $129, plus tax and shipping charges.

Alternative distributor NewEgg.com does not have the lowest price available to solution providers, coming in with a price of $114.99.

Apple sells the software online for $129, and offers students a price of $116.

E-commerce retailer MacMall.com was selling single copies of the operating system for $109.00 after a mail-in rebate, but the site was down on Thursday afternoon. E-tailer MacConnection was also selling the product for $109.00 but then hit shoppers with $8.49 in shipping charges.

CDW is offering bundles of Apple's Leopard OS with Microsoft Windows Vista and Parallels software, which would allow users to run both simultaneously on an Intel-based Macintosh computer, for $279.