Apple to pioneer USB Drive Software

Mike Halsey MVP
Jul 20, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies

I'vee been waiting patiently for this moment for years and it comes as no surprise to me that it's Apple leading innovation in the software sales market.  The company launched their new OS X Lion operating system update as a download through the new Mac App Store.  What they also announced however was that this $29.99 OS update will also be available to order, for a modest premium, on a USB Pen Drive from late August.

This is fantastic news for everybody and everything (except perhaps the compact disc of course).  The Apple thumb drive will cost $69 but at least means that customers will be able to buy a physical copy of the operating system.

So, as I know you're thinking this, why if it's more than twice the price of the OS is this such wonderful news?  We'll we'll ignore the price as this will come down in time and eventually we'll find the things made or cardboard and bundled with cereal packets.  This is exactly why its so cool.  Eventually we'll see them made of cardboard and bundled in cereal packets!

apple usb drive software The USB pen drive has finally come of age with this news and I'm absolutely delighted that Apple have announced it.  It doesn't matter that they won't sell many and that it will be mostly tech enthusiasts and collectors that buy them.  What is important is that as Apple are doing this it will all of a sudden become trendy and everybody will want to do it.  This can only drive down the price of USB pen drives and greatly drive down the overall cost of storage on them.

It also means we'll see ever more interesting form factors for the devices and pretty soon you'll be buying software, movies and albums like this everywhere.  What's more it's a shot in the arm for all those retail industries to rely on having a physical item to sell.  With everything moving into the cloud it's been looking like those without Internet access might get shut out completely.  Now Apple is helping to make certain they won't.

So, congratulations again to Apple, I think it's a marvelous idea and long live the pen drive.  Now, where's that box of cornflakes..?


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  1. Lawrence Knowlton said on July 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I’m the opposite of a mac fanboy, but trying very hard not to spew venom on this rediculous article. I wish I could sell iManure to those willing to dole out $70 for something worth a 1/3 of that.
    Playing Devil’s advocate, it comes down to a similar situation: the $150 Airforce toilet seat that people went nuts over. Apple, I’m sure, doesn’t expect to sell a lot of these, so they didn’t make a lot of them. Not having made a lot of them drives up the price alone (no not for collectibility-sake either). Its the fact that a manufacturer has to specifically tool their factory to make a limited number of special thumb/flash/pen (whatever) drives with their Apple logo on it. NO NEW INNOVATION GOING ON HERE (give us a break from your ikool-aid soaked brain). I think the points have been thoroughly exhausted, like I was after reading the first few lines (my eyes just kept constantly rolling). Maybe the author didn’t intend to be taken seriously? Then the joke would be on all of us! lol Oh did I call this article a joke out loud, bad boy BAD!

  2. JohnMWhite said on July 21, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I’m curious how this can be seen as good news at all. Aside from the fact that it has been done before and for a while, the elephant in the room remains the absolutely outrageous premium expected for anyone with the gall to want their purchased product on a physical medium. The article acknowledges that the price is a problem, then promptly admits to ignoring it. I don’t find that acceptable, it really is outrageously expensive and while I tend to roll my eyes at the silly tribal squabbles between Mac, PC and Linux fanboys, it seems pretty odd for an article to blatantly gloss over what is a significant issue with the price. This is an Apple trait, and not one that I believe journalists should be giving a free pass for just because “well, it’s Apple”.

  3. McCade said on July 21, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Think you may have missed the point. What Apple does, even though it may not be new, does seem to start trends. So as the Apple fanboy masses start seeing this and asking for the same treatment from other vendors, it will most likely drive the prices down and become more common.

    The only thing I see wrong, is that thumb drives fail, CDs/DVDs last a lifetime.

  4. Gabe said on July 20, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    PenDriveLinux has been around for years.

    AutoDesk has been doing this for more than a year.

    I just installed Parallels on a friend’s Mac… and it came on a thumbdrive.

    “Pioneering” involves being an originator. It requires creativity. Not slick packaging skillz. Not taking someone else’s idea and wrapping it in brushed aluminium.

    Also, Journalism (or blogging) requires basic skills like researching, reading, knowing what you are talking about, not overstating facts. Not regurgitating articles that others have “written”.

    1. EllisGL said on July 21, 2011 at 1:27 am

      Yeah – Apple really hasn’t made anything that has been pioneering in a long time. Most of the stuff they done has been done before. Tables, MP3 players, OS’s and so on.

      Of course, the writer is correct in saying that “When Apple does it, it’s cool and everyone wants to do it!”

  5. Sir H.C. Yemar said on July 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Much of the linux community has been using USB for loading OS onto computers for several years. They even have whole systems that run from the USB drive. Apple only takes an already existing idea puts an ‘i’ in front of it and calls it theirs.

  6. Matt said on July 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    too bad Autodesk has already been doing that for over 6 months…..

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