The Apple iPod by HP

On January 8, 2004, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina brandished a blue device and proudly announced a deal with Apple. The agreement would produce the “Apple iPod by HP”, a market oddity which was made available nine months later and, after weak sales, was discontinued in 2005.

Also called the “Apple iPod + HP”, this was the first (and only) iPod license ever allowed: Apple would manufacture a version of the iPod for HP and the iTunes software would be pre-installed on all HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario computers. Although it was short-lived, at the time the deal made sense for both of the companies.

In 2004 the iPod franchise was a growing success but the digital player hadn’t yet conquered the bulk of the market (this would happen the next year, thanks to the iPod mini). Apple was interested in anything that would further grow its penetration and mindshare, in particular after the launch of the iTunes Store for Windows, which had debuted just three months prior. Thanks to HP’s distribution network, the “iPod + HP” would be sold in retailers where Apple lacked a presence, such as Wal-Mart, RadioShack, and Office Depot. (more…)

Tuesday 14 January 2014, 8:50 am
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