Apple will offer its latest operating system, Mac OS X Lion, on a USB stick for $69.99 in the US which is more than double the £29.99 Apple is charging for the digital download from its Mac App Store.
The company has abruptly dropped its SuperDrive optical disk drives from the Mac Mini and the new MacBook air laptops, although you can stil get them for £69 from Apple store.
The fact that the company is offering the Mac OS X Lion OS on a USB key for $40 more than the digital download, shows how much Apple cares for its shareholders, given that it is charging roughly 10 times more than the cost of a 4GB USB key.
Fortunately, the guys at Cnet have put together a tutorial that will show you how to create a Mac OS X Lion installation disc, a process that can be easily used to create a bootable USB key as well.
Note that upon installing Lion, Mac OS X removes the 3.49GB file, possibly to free up space. you can use Lion's recovery partition to reinstall the operating system but you will require an internet connection to download the installation files.
Also as an additional step to reduce piracy, the installation process now asks for the user's app store ID. Apple hasn't said (or indeed confirmed) whether there will be a family pack version of the OS.
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard cost £26 at Apple while Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Family Pack which allows users to install the OS on up to five computers, cost an additional £15.