Apple-loving sites 9to5 Mac and Apple Insider both expect Mac OS X Lion to land next week, with 14 July touted as the probable date.

That day is predicted as Apple has apparently told staff to prepare for "overnights" on 13 July - which means getting the store ready for some big changes.

Although Mac OS X Lion is a download-only release from the Mac App Store and won't actually be available in store to buy, Apple is apparently readying its in-store machines by adding more RAM before installing the OS on them. It will also invite some lucky fanboys down to the store to download the new OS right there and get some genius coaching.

Both Apple news sites are also predicting that freeing the Lion from its cage will also trigger the announcement of the next-gen MacBook Airs - which are apparently ready to go, but just waiting for the official OS update so they can ship with the new platform.

Previously on Pocket-lint we've told you how parts manufacturers for the new Airs are apparently using 400 Mbps NAND flash storage chips meaning a possible 100 times performance increase over past models, coupled with the possible i5 and i7 updates.

Mac OS X Lion is around 4GB in size and will cost you £20.99 in the UK.

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