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On first day, Apple sells 50 Lions for every lion

Panthera leo leo outrun by one million Mac OS X sales

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During its first day of availability, Apple sold 50 copies of its new Mac OS X Lion operating system for every living copy of the actual African Lion for which it is named.

Or over 160 copies. Or 25 copies. Or somewhere in between. It depends on who's counting the lions – the Panthera leo leo, that is.

As for Mac OS X version 10.7, the one-day sales number was over one million. "Lion is off to a great start," Apple head marketeer Phil Schiller said in a Thursday press release, exulting in his perception that "user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic."

As of mid-afternoon San Francisco time, Apple's Lion had been rated by nearly 10,000 Mac App Store shoppers; 87 per cent of them gave it five out of five stars, while 3 per cent gave it the lowest rating of but one star.

Over at MacInTouch, the Mac geekerati are busy weighing in – with quite a bit of good discussion about the demise of the PowerPC code translator, Rosetta – and the forums at MacFixIt and other fanboi watering holes are buzzing, as well.

As of today, Apple's Lion is only available from the Mac App Store for $29.99, but a thumb-drive version will appear in August, Apple says, for a pricey $69.

Having the Mac App Store available in 123 countries worldwide undoubledly helped Cupertino achieve its 50-to-1 advantage over Lion's namesake. After all, leo leo is available in only about two dozen countries. ®

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