When we first talked about the release of OS X Lion and how it was only available via download from the Mac App Store, one of the consistent comments we received was from individuals with slower internet access that did not feel it was feasible to download an entire operating system.
It appears that Apple has caught on to the flaw in their approach. Apple is now selling USB installation drives for OS X 10.7 Lion for individuals interested in still using physical media to upgrade their operating system. Their site explains that these USB drives are specifically for Mac users who do not have broadband internet connections and live far from an Apple retail store (Apple was allowing users to access their internet connection to download Lion).
This particular demographic sounds like a lot of users outside the US. I’m sure that users that were unable to download Lion are now excited for the opportunity to upgrade via physical media but it seems that this extra service comes at a price.
OS X Lion USB Install Disk Costs $69
Unlike the $29.99 price tag for individuals that download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store, buying the physical media costs $69. Its clear that Apple is not only passing on the cost of the physical media to the consumer, but they’re also passing on the cost to package and ship the drive.
Although the price is almost $40 more than downloading Lion, the price of the USB installation drive for Lion is still cheaper than a typical Windows operating system upgrade.
No OS X Lion DVDs
When Apple released the Macbook Air a few years ago they made it clear how they felt about disk drives for CDs and DVDs. With their new software distribution methods it is evident that Apple wants to kill off DVD media as quickly as possible. There is no option to Buy OS X Lion on DVD.
Make Your Own
Using USB drives for installing operating systems is something we here at Maciverse have supported for a number of years! In fact, we started creating our own USB installation drives for Leopard and Snow Leopard as they work great for upgrading Macs with broken DVD drives. Installing from USB is often much faster than older media like DVDs.
If you have already purchased OS X Lion via the Mac App store but would like to have your own installation USB drive than be sure to check our guide for creating a OS X Lion USB drive.