Apple’s OS X Lion now available on a $69 USB drive


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Apple released OS X Lion on a USB thumb drive on Tuesday, selling for $69, just under a month after the new Mac operating system debuted as a $29.99 download.

So why might someone want to pay $69 for software available for less than half that price online from Apple’s Mac App Store?


Not everyone has a speedy broadband Internet connection, or any Internet connection for that matter, and OS X Lion is a 3.49-gigabyte digital download that would take a decent amount of time on a slow connection.

Even still, some others simply prefer to have their software in a physical media format.

For those folks, the OS X USB drive is available from Apple’s online store and Apple’s retail stores as well.

Apple will also let Mac owners download and install the $29.99 download of OS X Lion in Apple retail stores, too, since they’ve got broadband connections handy.

Already downloaded Lion, but worried something just might possibly go wrong someday? Apple has made available a free OS X Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, which will allow users to create their own bootable repair drive.

But even the Recovery Disk Assistant requires an Internet connection. No Internet? The USB drive, or an Apple store ‘walk-in and download’ are the only way to get Lion sans the Web.

No cardboard box, no printed-on-paper manual -- the USB drive sits mounted into one sheet of card stock paper. Apple minimalism.


On the drive is OS X Lion (of course) and its more than 250 new features, which is an improvement over the previous (and already fantastic) version of OS X, called Snow Leopard.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles