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Apple posts Lion for download, ships USB version in August

updated 10:05 am EDT, Wed July 20, 2011

Lion arrives with promise of USB flash drive versi

Apple as promised posted Mac OS X Lion for download ($30, Mac App Store) as well as the Lion Server add-on ($50, Mac App Store) with the promise of a physical version. The OS we just reviewed gives Snow Leopard users an upgrade to the iOS-influenced software and is the first that won't need a disc. Those who face low bandwidth caps or have slow connections have been invited to download Lion at Apple's retail stores.

As a concession to those who don't have reliable Internet access or who want the reassurance of a physical copy, Apple has also acknowledged that the online Apple Store will be carrying Lion preloaded on to a USB flash drive. The release due "later this August" will cost $69, likely owed to the need for at least a 4GB flash drive and packaging. Anyone who buys a new Mac will already have the OS either on a restore DVD or USB stick.

The strategy makes Apple the first major OS developer to ship its release on a USB drive as well as the first to make the download the primary method, not a secondary option. Microsoft still sells Windows 7 primarily on discs and makes the download an option mostly for those who don't have optical drives and are comfortable with creating an OS image on a USB drive themselves.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac Mini

    Will this come with the Macbook Air and the new Mac Mini since both don't have optical drives?

  1. noibs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How to use downloaded installer with multiple user

    Anyone know how to use one previously downloaded copy of the installer (in the Applications folder BEFORE you actually do the install) on different users' Macs while having those different users pay the correct $30 to the App Store?

    Let's say I want to install Lion on my brother's Mac(s) using a previously downloaded copy of the installer. My brother needs to pay $30 for his installation but doesn't want to download the 4GB installer that I already have. How can this be done?

  1. facebook_Ronald

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    The OS will be in a compressed fili format. Copy t

    your comment

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $40 for a USB Stick?

    Mac Lion is only $30 (okay, $29.95), and on the USB stick, it's $70.

    You said: "The release due "later this August" will cost $69, likely owed to the need for at least a 4GB flash drive and packaging."

    I can buy a 4GB USB drive for $5, and there's not a whole lot of "packaging" involved. Heck, if it's ordered over the Internet, it shouldn't need anything more than a standard padded envelope.

    I'd say the $40 extra is to encourage users not to get the USB drive, or to treat the USB drive as a "Family Pack" option since you can easily download the USB version of Lion to multiple machines.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    USB Stick

    I will need some type of USB stick, whether Apple designed or created myself. When travelling what do you do if your OS has a serious problem and you need to reload your OS. Ever try finding a wifi signal in Japan? :) Remember the Macbook Air doesn't have a OD.

  1. anthology123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more than just the installer

    The USB stick will probably be like last years MacBook Air flash drive, that has a bootable system for installing Snow Leopard and doing disk repair, password reset, etc. If you can simply put the Lion Installer download on a flash drive and make it bootable, then this is an overpriced flash drive, but if it cannot be done, then the flash drive might be worth it to people who need to install on more than 1 system.

  1. macnscott

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Retail 101

    Come on folks, it costs money to put together a retail product and have margin on it to cover in store expenses. Remember, Apple Authorized Resellers sell these products too, so at $69.95 they get to make a few bucks too (usually less than 8% - $5.60). It costs real money to operate a retail store including rent, multiple types of insurance, labor for staff, fixtures, demo Macs, printers, supplies, Macs to run the business on, software to keep the books, company shirts for the staff, etc, etc, etc. Add in the occasional theft/shop lifting, accidental damage, replacing outdated equipment and software; well, you surely are getting the picture. Add to this that Apple has taken away boxed products of other software titles today these retail partners used to sell and make a small profit on to help support their businesses. Now Apple keeps ALL the margin via downloads. No more making a few bucks selling by itself or attaching to a hardware sale the latest iLife, iWork, Aperture, Final Cut, Apple Boxed Set, ARD, GarageBand Jam Packs, Server software, etc.

    This trend also cuts down on foot traffic to a Apple Authorized Reseller as there are fewer reasons for customers to stop by after the sale to pick up say a GarageBand Jam Pack.

  1. battles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    got it installed

    I'm liking it so far. iCal though, really a faux leather image?? Damn, it's ugly. No options to change it. Doesn't look "Apple" to me.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oh the excitement. Now I can not use FileVault2 instead of not using FileVault!

    And all those great other useful features! Like auto-saving! So now opening a file to see how changes might work no longer have to be lost when you decide you don't like them. They'll be saved for you! Then, when you want to use the document again, you can try to find the version that you had considered 'final'.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Alex

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Just my opinion...

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff,

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