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Lion USB sticks now available [u]

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2011

May be free under certain circumstances

(Updated with counterclaim) Apple's promised USB sticks for OS X Lion should now be available for sale, internal AppleCare documents show. These allow a person to install the OS without an available Internet connection and/or Mac App Store access. Apple is charging $69 for each stick, $39 more than the cost of a downloaded Lion upgrade.

Significantly, the AppleCare documents also show that under the right circumstances, a person may be able to get a stick for free. This involves Lion's built-in recovery tools failing to work, or otherwise not being an option. Only Tier 2 Apple support workers can decide to give out free Lion sticks.

Update: Engadget says it has learned that the "recovery media" referred to in AppleCare documents is in fact a specific restoration tool for AppleCare workers. The view is is so far backed by checking Apple's website, which has yet to show Lion for order online except through the Mac App Store. The company has stated it will ship Lion on USB sticks sometime this month.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    blank ones for sale?

    I actually like the design of Apple's USB sticks and think they would have a market for blank ones. 4GB sticks can almost be had for free but the ability to put several of these on an O-ring for safe keeping would be desirable to me. Selling larger capacity versions would be even better.

    I created my own Lion installer but had to use an 8GB SD card so I am thinking Apple's USB sticks are larger than the 4GB mentioned in the referenced article.

    As for the extra cost, someone has to pay for imaging the sticks and mailing them while blank ones should cost less.

  1. NPS_CA

    Joined: Dec 1969



    8GB Lexar drive 13.70 on and formatting the DMG to a USB stick.

    I get that these are preformatted but for those who purchase from the App Store should have a PROPER utility to make a USB stick ; not having to extract package contents and dragging to disk image... Seems poorly implemented

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bend over!

    $70 for the physical media of a $30 operating system? No thanks. Are they going to also charge you each time you plug the thing into your USB port?

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What you people seem to forget:

    Yes, the Lion download costs $30. But it requires a Snow Leopard install (at least to download it the first time, after which you can make a USB installer or DVD install disk yourself), a licence for which is also $29. In theory, $30 buys you an upgrade to Snow Leopard. So, technically (!), with the $69 USB stick you get $59 worth of operating system, plus $10 for the stick.

    At least this is how Apple probably sees and justifies it. I guess.

  1. jay3ld

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lets also not forget..

    Apple appears to be making a move away from physical media. If the USB version was only slightly more expensive, you would see users opting for it over a download just for convenience. So by charging high but not outrageous rate, they can discourage physical media purchases for all except those who really need it.

  1. mmurray

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    You don't want to buy Apple Lion sticks. You want to go home and rethink your life.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Lets also not forget..

    Apple appears to be making a move away from physical media. If the USB version was only slightly more expensive, you would see users opting for it over a download just for convenience.

    Yeah, what a bunch of losers. Wanting to get their installer one way because it is the most convenient for them, the user/consumer. Don't they know all that matters is what is convenient for Apple?

  1. Salsa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Straight to Lion from 10.5

    The Apple web site says that 10.6 is required to install Lion.

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