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Basic question but want to make sure that I have the right answer. The Lightning FAQ's are clearly stating that Lightning Components can (at the moment) only be developed on a developer edition, using a namespace.

Q: Will I always need a namespace to develop Lightning Components? A: For the beta release, all components are namespaced. This will not be a requirement in the future. We are in the process of adding support for the default/current namespace similar to the c: namespace in Visualforce today.

However, a bit later in the FAQ, you can read the following:

Q: If I have to use a namespace, does this mean I can only develop Lightning Components in a Developer Edition? A: Yes, you can currently only use Developer Edition to develop Lightning Components, but you can deploy them to any organization that supports Apex.

Question Do I understand it correctly that you can create Lightning Components but you can only deploy them using a managed package? At least during Beta? Which means you cannot create lightning components and deploy it an unmanaged/zip package to a production/sandbox environment?

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For Now:

You create Lightning components in development organisation only. Reason for this is, it need namespace and only developer edition can have namespace.

Lightning components can only be shipped as managed package only. So you can deploy them in any organisation which support apex.

In future, You will be able to develop Lightning components in Sandbox. It is not generally available even in beta. It is in testing.

So answers are a follow:

Do I understand it correctly that you can create Lightning Components but you can only deploy them using a managed package? Yes, but you can create Lightning Components in DE only.

At least during Beta? Yes

Which means you cannot create lightning components and deploy it an unmanaged/zip package to a production/sandbox environment? Yes

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