A report this morning claims Apple will be forced to delay the release of Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' in order to deliver Vista compatibility in the OS's Boot Camp software.

The report – originally on DigiTimes – cites "industry sources" who claim the release "will be postponed until October". The delay is solely to ensure Boot Camp supports Windows Vista, the report explains.

Available for the current iteration of OS X as beta software, Boot Camp allows owners of Intel-based Macs to install Windows XP within a separate partition on their Mac.

The report reckons the delay is solely in order that Apple can boost market share by attracting Windows switchers.

However, it flies in the face of Apple's previous statements in this regard, in which it has promised to release the new OS this spring.

Earlier this week, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients that he expects the new OS to ship in mid-April.

A report on Ars Technica indicates that there may be a degree of truth in the rumoured delay.

Developers who work closely with Apple are muttering that the OS isn't ready yet, and that no final build is circulating at this time. As it takes a few weeks to print CDs or DVDs containing the OS for distribution, the lack of a Gold Master build makes it unlikely Apple will meet an April release date, the report claims.

Apple has issued no comment on this report at this time.