Apple store representatives today said that although its Genius Bar technicians won't install Lion for customers, Mac owners can use a store's Internet connection to download the 4GB upgrade.
Customers can bring their Mac notebooks into any Apple store, then use the store's Wi-Fi network to download Lion next month, representatives from several stores said today.
That may be a way users stuck with a slow or metered connection -- a dial-up account, for instance, or a satellite-served connection -- can obtain the upgrade.
Computerworld readers have been asking how they can upgrade their Macs to Lion when all they have is a dial-up or heavily-metered account.
"We live in the San Diego mountains and must rely on satellite provided by Wild Blue," wrote John LaPlante in an email Monday. "It would take over 10 hours for us to download a 4GB program and I'm not sure if the system would allow me online that long."
Others have expressed concern about Lion's availability on Apple's support forums.
"You can go anywhere there's Wi-Fi," one representative from a Portland, Ore.-area Apple store suggested, adding that the store's own network will be available.
Customers don't need to make an appointment with the Genius Bar -- Apple's term for it's in-store support desk -- but can simply walk in with their Mac laptop.
A representative at another store said she did not know if users will be able to save the upgrade downloaded from the Mac App Store to later install on other Macs, such as a desktop-bound iMac.
"We just don't know at this point," she said, adding that Apple may release more information before Lion ships.
Apple has spelled out deployment options for volume customers , including schools, universities and businesses, saying that they will be able to download Lion once, then copy an installer to multiple Macs.
Lion is slated for a July release and will be sold for $29.99 only through the Mac App Store .
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com .
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This story, "Apple: Use Our Stores' Wi-Fi to Download Lion" was originally published by Computerworld.