Apple to Sell Lion on USB Thumb Drive Starting in August for $69

Wednesday July 20, 2011 6:53 AM PDT by Arnold Kim

In Apple's press release for OS X Lion, the company revealed that they will be selling OS X Lion on USB Flash Drive as well starting in August:
Users who do not have broadband access at home, work or school can download Lion at Apple retail stores and later this August, Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive through the Apple StoreĀ® ( for $69 (US).
This should allay concerns about those who can't easily download Lion using their home internet connection, or may want some sort of physical media.

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44 months ago
I think it's great they're going to offer a physical option - the part I cannot understand is how it apparently asks for a $40 markup? Sure I understand production and distribution costs, but they managed to ship Snow Leopard on a disc for only $29 a couple years ago, I wouldn't imagine a ~4GB thumb drive to cause that much of a price increase.
Rating: 8 Votes
44 months ago
Apparently the thumbdrive can transform into a 3d lion ala transformers.
Rating: 6 Votes
44 months ago
They are really pushing the App Store. $40 for a flash drive, come on man! those are dirt cheap these days.
Rating: 6 Votes
44 months ago
i'm pretty sure apple is just doing the price hike because they want to discourage people from buying the physical OS and instead use the Mac App Store to download it. They've been doing this for years by taking away CD/DVD drives in things like the Macbook Air and now the MacMini. They want to move everyone into digital downloads, and one way to push people is to make it more expensive to purchase a hard copy.
Rating: 5 Votes
44 months ago

Perfect for those on a bandwidth budget :)

Yeah woo hoo. Welcome to the future!

Where if you are in an area with sh tty broadband speeds and providers Apple will do you the favor of selling you a $5 USB drive for $40 when previously a DVD would have cost you nothing.

Thanks Apple!

Steve's personal gigabit line to his house has made him forget what the rest of the country has to put up with.
Rating: 3 Votes
44 months ago
"In Apple's press release for OS X Lion, the company revealed that they will be selling OS X Lion on USB Flash Drive as well starting in August:"

Well, so much for those folks who said that Lion would NEVER be available except through an Apple Store download.

And exactly as I predicted in an earlier posting right here on MRC:
"100% and there will never be a DVD available. For sure."

I wouldn't be so sure.

By making Lion "downloadable only from the Apple Store", Apple is trying to "bend the market" into a new shape that conforms to what _they_ (Apple) think it should be.

The "market" doesn't work that way. Instead -- like Adam Smith's "invisible hand" -- the market works to satisfy itself.

Apple is going to discover that their distribution model, while attractive to some, will cause problems for others.

I predict Lion's sales will be brisk at the beginning (due to downloads from folks who are capable of obtaining it that way), but will quickly taper off. There's a large share of "potential buyers" out there who simply won't have the means to get ahold of it.

I predict that when the idealist marketing guys at Apple (including Mr. Jobs himself) finally perceive this, they will relent and offer a "hard copy" purchase option of Lion at "extra cost". It's reasonable that a hard copy version should cost more, due to the extra expenses of manufacturing and distribution. $40-50 might be what it sells for.

Wait and see!

A bit higher than the "price point" I predicted (guess the base cost of the hardware flash drive has to be worked into that, as well).

But - true to my prediction - a "hard copy" version of Lion _WILL_ definitely be made available from Apple.

Not sure about a DVD release. Probably not needed since every Mac that is going to use Lion also has a USB port available (and can boot from the USB port, as well).

As I predicted, Apple has come to realize that they cannot "bend the market" solely to suit their whims. That's why we're seeing Lion "in the hard copy".

They might even relent and release it on DVD... :)
Rating: 2 Votes
44 months ago
...and eventually they realized 'download-only' was a lesson in stupidity. altho, i'll burn my own, this is good news.
Rating: 2 Votes
44 months ago

Forgive my ignorance on this but -

I have 10.6.6 installed, let's say I buy & download Lion. At some point my hard drive fails, and I need to re-install. Does it require 10.6 to be installed for me to reinstall Lion, or is it a case of I should have 10.6 installed, but it's not enforced?

If it's the former, I'd rather not have to keep a backup of Lion around, AND my Snow Leopard DVD.

If you have downloaded Lion you can put the installation files onto a flash drive and boot from it. It will allow you to do a clean install without installing Snow. I did this today. I wiped out my harddrive and installed Lion with no previous versions installed.
Rating: 2 Votes
44 months ago

I won't give Apple the satisfaction of counting me as a "registered user with a saved CC" in their earnings number just because I wanted to upgrade to Lion. They can get their registered users elsewhere.

Ok, I don't think that's so terrible, but you can buy an iTunes gift card with cash and then use it to buy Lion. You'll still need an Apple ID. Do you have a problem with that?
Rating: 2 Votes
44 months ago

Of course this is welcome news. In the other threads, people have been crying for months about some weird hypothetical case where they can't download Lion and need a physical copy. Now, I'm sure they'll find something new to complain about, ie the price, or that it's not on a DVD, or something else.

I'm glad to read this!

You do realize that all State and Federal institutions can not order stuff off of an 'App Store,' right? It's also the same for most academic instituions as well. Budgeting rules set in place prevent that from being possible.

So until Apple releases physical media, and allows their Government and Education sales teams to start issuing purchase quotes, they will not see a dime in Lion sales for state/federal agencies, and will also get hardly a dime from academic institutions.
Rating: 2 Votes

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