Are you eager to try OS X Lion, Apple’s new Mac operating system, but are unable to download it from the online Mac App Store? If you’re one of those folks, you’re now able to purchase a bootable USB thumb drive from the Apple’s online Store and soon from physical stores across the globe.

OS X Lion Thumb Drive

Shortly after OS X Lion was released, Apple surprised many by announcing that it would release an installation USB stick to accommodate the needs of those who are unable to download a copy online, and a few weeks ago, this product became available through Apple’s support channel, AppleCare, to users who had issues installing OS X Lion using the downloadable copy. Starting today, you won’t have to call Apple in order to get your hands on this USB drive.

For the first time ever, OS X Lion doesn’t rely on physical media as it main means of distribution. Previous versions of OS X, dating all the way back to 2001, was shipped on CD’s, and later DVD’s, which could be purchased in physical stores or shipped to the customer’s doorstep. Starting with Lion, installation discs aren’t available anymore and all users are expected to obtain a 4-gigabyte download from Apple’s Mac App Store, which recently became an integral part of Mac OS X. While installing it is much simpler, requiring users to simply double-click an icon and follow simple on-screen instructions, those with slower Internet connections have felt the heat.

Apple states on the thumb drive’s product page that its purchase should only be necessary for those unable to use the aforementioned download system:

OS X Lion is available on a USB thumb drive for installation without the need for a broadband Internet connection. Just plug the drive into your USB port and follow the instructions to install. OS X Lion is also available for a lower price as a digital download from the Mac App Store.

The only caveat is the price: while a regularly-downloaded copy of OS X Lion is selling for $29, the USB thumb drive is available for $69, presumably to cover all the shipping and logistics involved which don’t apply to the downloadable version. If you already own a downloaded copy of OS X Lion, you can create a recovery USB drive or DVD yourself for free rather easily by following our step-by-step guides.

Get the officially OS X Lion USB drive from Apple’s online store.

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