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Apple unlikely to merge OS X and iOS just yet as WWDC looms

30 Apr 2013
Apple OS X Mountain Lion

Despite ceding the spotlight to the iOS platform, Apple's OS X desktop operating system won't be exiting the stage any time soon, say industry analysts.

The summer season usually brings with it a series of major updates for Apple users with the new versions of both iOS and OS X. The company is likely to talk up its two operating systems next month when it opens its WWDC developer conference in San Francisco.

Once the star of WWDC presentations, OS X now finds itself toiling in the shadows of the company's hugely successful mobile counterpart. Updates to iOS generate massive headlines, while OS X always plays second fiddle.

Still, the platform looks to remain a vital part of Apple's strategy in the coming years, even as iOS gains a greater influence over the direction of the company's engineering efforts.

Van Baker, Gartner research vice president, told V3 that the iOS platform has become a driving force in Apple's strategy. With the iPhone and iPad having surpassed the Mac range as the company's flagship products, the successful components of iOS have been taken to the desktop platform.

"I continue to see further integration between iOS and OS X," he said. "We have already seen LaunchPad, iCloud and other integration points between the two operating systems and I expect more to come going forward."

Baker's sentiments are shared by fellow analyst Carolina Milanesi, who noted that Apple is not alone in seeing its mobile business overtake its traditional PC efforts. With PC vendors across the board seeing a dip in consumer interest, Apple is said to be doing a good job using what works in the mobile space to help buoy its desktop market.

"I see a lot of synergy between the two and I would say that iOS is driving the direction of where the two operating systems are going," Milanesi told V3.

"I see this as a natural evolution of the market that needs to be reflected on the OS. Tablets and smartphones will play a much bigger role than traditional PCs will going forward."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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