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I own an Early 2008, white MacBook (MB403LL/A) which still has Snow Leopard, 10.6.8, installed.

My understanding is Mountain Lion will not support my MacBook. If this turns out to be true then I would probably want to upgrade to Lion since it will be the last supported (for a bit longer) release which I could use.

Previously, before the App Store when OS X was sold on optical media, it was always possible to purchase an older version of OS X. The media was still "out there".

With Lion I am not sure what my options are. Does anyone know if I would still be able to buy and install Lion from the App Store after Apple releases Mountain Lion?

I'm just trying to better understand what my options might be. I really have no desire to install Lion unless and until I feel I have no other choice.


Update: July 26, 2012

Copying the link to MacWorld article Apple pulls Lion from the Mac App Store into this question. (The link was in one of bmike's comments below.) The article seems to sum up my question/concerns about this matter rather well.

I also found the excerpt from this article quoted below interesting. Apparently not even Apple knows how to respond to this?

  • ... Apple spokesperson Monica Sarkar told Macworld that, while Lion is no longer available for sale from the Mac App Store, customers can still purchase it from the legacy products list via Apple phone sales. But when we called 1-800-MY-APPLE, sales representatives there said Lion was not available.
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There is no way to answer this as Apple has not made any official announcements on the matter. –  Gerry May 20 '12 at 22:18
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It would be interesting to see if the App Store is smart enough to still offer you Lion if it detects your machine isn't capable of Mountain Lion. Have you checked now that the OS has been released? –  bmike Jul 25 '12 at 14:54
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Can anyone find a App Store Link to OS X Lion? –  MrDaniel Jul 25 '12 at 21:08
    
@MrDaniel itunes.apple.com/gb/app/os-x-lion/id444303913?mt=12 "not currently available in the U.K. Store". –  Graham Perrin Aug 18 '12 at 17:57

6 Answers 6

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I called 1-800-MY-APPLE and bought Lion 10.7 for only $19. I told the automated machine that I wanted to buy OS X 10.7 Lion. I was transferred to a sales representative, and he looked it up and said it was $19.99 plus taxes. I was surprised because I was expecting a $29.99 price tag. So I made him double check to make sure it was indeed 10.7 Lion and not 10.8 Mountain Lion. He said that it was for sure and that I would be emailed a PDF with a redemption code to get it.

I went through with the purchase last night (November 6, 2012) and got the email today. I was able to redeem the code in the App Store and download it from there!

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Only some people at Apple know that for sure. And I really doubt that if they happen to read us here, they would give us the answer.

However, between the moment Apple announces Mountain Lion (along with the compatible configs) and the moment Lion is removed from the App Store, you should have time to decide or not to purchase it.

On the other hand, I advise you to have a look at some reviews of Lion on 2008 MacBooks. It may quite well be that Snow Leopard is better suited than Lion in your case actually.

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There's a chance you'll still be able to find the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive somewhere, even if Apple pulls the Lion upgrade from the App Store. The media should still be "out there," as you say, just on a USB stick instead of an optical disc. But it's more expensive: $69 for the thumb drive vs. $29 from the App Store. And, being less popular than the App Store download method, it may possibly be somewhat harder to find after Mountain Lion is released (pure speculation on my part).

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We don't know yet. But maybe Mountain Lion install will only work when Lion is already installed. If so, then certainly Lion will remain on sale.

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This is not correct. You can purchase Mountain Lion from a Mac that is running the latest version of Snow Leopard. apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade (see step 2) –  bmike Jul 25 '12 at 14:50
    
As I said on May 19, we don't know yet. –  GEdgar Jul 25 '12 at 16:21
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And we edit and vote things as more information becomes available. The post was closed by a moderator on May 20 to wait for concrete information instead of guesses or speculation. Comments and votes are how incorrect info gets annotated and sorted. –  bmike Jul 25 '12 at 17:58
    
Or at least, obsolete info :/ –  BoltClock Jul 25 '12 at 19:25

Yes, just not from Apple's online or retail stores.

I am sure you can pop over to ebay or Amazon to find a copy.

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This is not correct - Apple is selling Lion today (day of launch of Mountain Lion) as a physical USB media containing 10.7. They could withdraw that product in the future of course, but it wasn't withdrawn the same day as the new OS is released. –  bmike Jul 25 '12 at 14:51
    
bmike, you can still find copies on both Amazon and ebay - the comment is correct, i said nothing about the Apple store –  Graeme Hutchison Jul 28 '12 at 18:38
    
I think you are more correct than I in this case - my apologies. When I checked it still was for sale, and all my contacts at Apple say they intend to keep selling Lion USB to people that call in or order it from AppleCare, but it's clearly been pulled from the online store. store.apple.com/us/search?find=os+x+usb+thumb+drive –  bmike Jul 28 '12 at 19:41

Apple was selling Lion as a physical deliverable from the web store until the middle of the day 25 July.

Since this SKU has been removed as a simple product that can be ordered without speaking with a person, you will want to call Apple Sales at 1-800-MY-APPLE to buy Lion media for $29.99 or call 1-800-APL-CARE (or an international support number) to order replacement media should you already have a license.

The Lion Upgrade is also no longer for sale from the Mac App Store so you'll want to go through the physical media ordering or perhaps buy a copy of the Lion USB drive second hand.

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Hmmm, strange, it says it's no longer available for me. –  BoltClock Jul 25 '12 at 19:27
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I stand corrected. It is gone from the store now. I'll see if I can get an official answer if it's going to come back as 10.7.5 part number (when that gets released) or just delete this answer if it's no longer true. –  bmike Jul 25 '12 at 19:57
    
apple.stackexchange.com/a/61395/8546 compares nicely with this answer from @bmike –  Graham Perrin Aug 22 '12 at 6:25

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