I've been running the Snow Leopard GM for a week or so now and it is a very big improvement on 10.5 performance wise. Startup is faster; shutdown is faster; sleep and wake are faster; app launches are faster; menus popup faster; animations are smoother; Finder 10.6 is faster; Safari is much faster.
Basically Snow Leopard is a much faster more refined Leopard. Its well worth the upgrade just for the performance gains alone.
According to the BBC the UK price is amazingly Â£250 or about US$413. Which is a ripoff. At this price there is no way that I would consider buying one.
No, Iphone OS is not OS X.
Except that it is OS X. It has the same kernel, frameworks, driver model, graphics subsystem and so on. The only thing really different is the UI layer because a desktop UI is highly unsuited for use on a mobile phone.
WinCE, on the other hand, shares little code in common with Windows XP/Vista/7 other than its APIs.
However they did port it to ARM for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Generally anything predicted by these so called analysts is almost certainly fantasy and is usually quite obviously so.
Some of the rumor sites (such as Apple Insider and MacRumors) have a better track record but even then are often wrong.