IPod HP

The Apple iPod+HP is an Apple iPod with an HP logo on the back, distributed through HP. It was part of a distribution strategy designed to sell more iPods by selling them through HP's larger mass-market distribution network.

HP and Napster

Originally, HP planned on launching a personal music player called the HP Pavilion Personal Media Player that was to have run on Microsoft's Windows Media Audio technology. The HP Pavilion Personal Media Player was to have launched in an alliance with Napster,[1] but the player would have worked with other WMA services. However, the HP Pavilion PMP failed in focus groups, leading HP to suddenly cancel the project. Because of termination of the Pavilion project, HP cancelled its contract with Napster and HP CEO Carly Fiorina withdrew her name from the Napster 2.0 launch event.

Launch

On January 8, 2004, Carly Fiorina announced the Apple iPod+HP deal at the Consumer Electronics Show.[2] As part of the deal, Apple was to manufacture a version of the iPod for HP and iTunes would be pre-installed on all HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario computers. The Apple iPod+HP was originally to have come in "HP Blue"[3] to complement HP's consumer computers, but by the time the player was introduced in mid-2004, it was the same white color as the Apple product.

Initially, HP only offered the 20 and 40 GB 4th-generation iPods. HP later added the iPod mini, the iPod photo, and the iPod shuffle to the lineup.[4] Thanks to HP's distribution network, the iPod+HP was sold in retailers where Apple did not have any presence at the time, which included Wal-Mart, RadioShack, and Office Depot. Many of these retailers now sell Apple iPods.

As these were officially HP products rather than Apple products, Apple Store Genius Bars were not authorized to repair Apple iPod+HP iPods, and they had to be sent to an HP Authorized Service Center for repair, despite identical designs.[5]

Discontinued

On July 29, 2005, HP announced that it would terminate its deal with Apple.[6] By the end, the HP deal accounted for only 5% of Apple's iPod sales. As part of the termination agreement, HP could not develop or sell an iPod competitor until August 2006. HP continued to pre-install iTunes on home computers until January 6, 2006, when HP announced a partnership with RealNetworks to install Rhapsody on HP and Compaq-branded home player under the HP brand.[7] However, HP's US home and home office online store did briefly sell Microsoft's Zune as an accessory.

Sources

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