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Catalog resellers attempt to recapture Tiger

Several catalog resellers including MacMall are feverishly attempting to recapture copies of Apple's new Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" operating system after the computer maker expressed extreme displeasure at learning that the next-generation operating system began shipping to some customers a full week in advance.

According to several MacMall customers, the online and catalog reseller on Tuesday began contacting buyers and asking them to return copies of Tiger that had shipped over the weekend. Apple had not planned to begin selling copies of Tiger until this Friday, April 29th.

"I received Tiger from MacMall on Monday. I installed and had a great time playing with it," said one early adopter. "At 1PM Tuesday I get a call from a MacMall customer service rep asking me to send Tiger back. They gave me a return label by email and the whole works."

Some customers have reported receiving free copies of Apple software, such as iWork, if they went through the trouble of actually returning Tiger.

One source with ties to the catalog resellers said Apple, miffed over the premature shipments, was "invalidating" copies of the OS that shipped early. The company had previously threatened some of its resellers with fines or the loss of their reseller license if they released copies of the operating system early.

MacMall will reportedly re-ship new copies of Tiger to customers on Friday.

At issue appears to be Apple's readiness to support the new operating system via its online stores and call centers, which hadn't planned to field questions on Tiger until Friday evening.

However, a source close to Apple's retail operations told AppleInsider that the company stores have been told by management not to turn away customers seeking technical support, as it's evident that copies of Tiger are now in the hands of paying customers.

Apple's retail stores began receiving copies of Tiger on Monday in preparation for a national launch event to take place this Friday evening.

Also on Tuesday, online retailer Amazon.com inadvertently leaked the specs of Apple's forthcoming Power Mac G5 revisions, which will come pre-loaded with copies of Tiger.

"Amazon.com shouldn't have done that," an Apple online store representative commented on the Amazon leak. "The Apple Store will be up and running tomorrow morning with the new Power Macs."

Amazon has since removed the description of the three new Power Mac models, which range in speeds from dual 2.0GHz to dual 2.7GHz.