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HP Businesses Media Media (Apple) Apple

HP To Start Selling Its iPod 313

Posted by timothy
from the it-isn't-even-blue dept.
Dozix007 writes "Uberhacker.Com is reporting that HP said Friday it will start selling its version of the iPod in September. HP's white iPod will be sold in a 20-gigabyte and 40-gigabyte version for $299 and $399 respectively. Apple's prices are the same. It is essentially a clone of the current design, with no real modification."
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HP To Start Selling Its iPod

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:42PM (#10104297)
    What else was HP going to do with them? Eat them? Plant them in the ground and hope iPod trees sprout?
    • <homer> (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:06PM (#10104449)
      mmmh.... iPod trees....
    • Though I don't think it's big news, it's not an HP-branded iPod, as they had originally stated when they showed the blue/gray iPod at an Apple press release. It's an Apple iPod. HP's shopping web site lists it as an "Apple iPod from HP." I'm not sure what the big deal is; every computer manufacturer offers complementary products from different vendors. That way they're getting the margin off the product instead of someone else getting it when they by the accessory later anyway. I guess the one significant t
  • If it works..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ericdano (113424) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:42PM (#10104300) Homepage
    If it works, why change it? Hopefully prices will go down a little......
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:46PM (#10104331)
      you know, bows and arrows worked pretty well for a time.
      why change em?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      why would you lower the price of an item that's selling like crazy?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:50PM (#10104366)
      if "it" works

      What do you mean by "it"? HP's decision to stop all innovation and try to become a follower in everything they do by just cloning and reselling the products of others?

      This aproach may work for the cheap taiwanese knock-offs companies we're all familiar with, but I'd expect better from HP.

      These guys once had everything - the best CPUs (Alpha, PA RISC), and now they're an intel-clone-box-reseller. Solid operating systems (HPUX, VMS), and now they're just a microsoft reseller. The best search engine (DEC, now HP) could have been google.

      Seems their strategy now it to let everyone else do all the innovation, and just become a follower and hope to make money reselling other's designs (such as attempting to resell Linux and use SCO FUD to become the prefered vendor).

      HP... why don't you try hiring back some of those guys you fired and making some of your own advances again.

      • by jimbolaya (526861) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:25PM (#10104552) Homepage
        These are innovative. You manage playlists using Reverse Polish Notation.
      • by hirschma (187820) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:57PM (#10104728)

        Compaq _invented_ the hard drive MP3 player. They had their first prototypes in 1997-8, I think. Their marketing folks decided that no one would want one, and they licensed the design off to a Korean company in 1999. You can read about it here [compaq.com] and here [pjbox.com].

        I got mine in early 1999, unit #4. It still does things that the iPod doesn't do, like gapless MP3 playback. It has a superior interface, battery life and sound quality. A shrunken version with an attractive design would have kicked ass.

        At any rate, HP bought Compaq, which means that they actually own patents covering almost every aspect of the iPod.

        So what does the New HP do? They license the iPod from Apple. Yup, pay Apple for the IP that they own. I'm guessing that the clever MBAs running the company never decided to do a simple patent search.

        Thus, HP wins the Dumbest Big Company Ever award. HP's stupidity regarding this matter has been confirmed to me by former employees who will remain nameless.

        Jonathan

        • by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @06:15PM (#10104815)
          I don't think you really understand why Apple sells so many iPods. It's not because it's the best music player in the world, although when all factors are considered it might be. It's because Apple has managed to build an extremely valuable brand. People don't want a music players with the capabilities of the iPod. They want iPods. They want to be seen walking around with those little white earbuds -- which, incidentally, might be part of the reason HP decided to ditch the HP-branded blue iPods we saw when this deal was announced.

          Then there's the iTunes Music Store. Could HP duplicate the technology behind that? Sure. Could HP make the same deals that Apple has with record labels? Maybe, maybe not. HP hasn't got Steve Jobs to capture record company execs under a Reality Distortion Field, and HP hasn't got nearly as much credibility as Apple in the music industry, because it isn't HP's computers that are sitting on the desks of most professional musicians. Even if HP could negotiate deals to get as much content as Apple has managed to get under similar licensing terms, it would probably take many months. And a lot of independent labels would probably just ignore them, because, again, they just haven't got Apple's image.

          All in all, it's really pretty easy to see why HP would rather resell the iPod (presumably on very favorable terms, in exchange for bundling iTunes) than compete with it. Just think of how many 'iPod killers' have come and gone without putting a dent in the iPod's meteoric rise.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Trust me, Carly Fiorina has her own reality distortion field. She managed to convince everyone that merging with compaq was a good thing, after all.

            Posted annonymously as I am an HP employee.
          • Nope, I don't think you understand the concept of defining a market. Apple's brand hasn't worked the same magic for home computers, now has it? But they certainly dominate the digital music scene, no argument there. I'd add that this wouldn't have happened if the iPod was bad. Look as Sony's product - can't get any traction at all, despite Sony's branding and marketing prowess.

            Fact is that HP/Compaq had product _years_ before Apple did, but they totally blew it. They could have defined this market to be, s
            • Apple's brand hasn't worked the same magic for home computers, now has it?

              You are mistaken. Early Apple computers were as successful in their day as iPod is today. History has repeated itself so far. Hopefully Apple will now deviate from history and maintain their market lead.
        • This is what happens when you have a medieval history major running the company.
    • When Gen4 came out, they dropped the price about 100 bucks..

      Doubt it goes down much further.. Will hover around that price, and each new generation will have bigger drives...

      Just a guess..
      • Prices didn't really change - look at all the accessories removed from the 4th gens.. Some websites have done comparisons - its like a $4 difference between the 3rdgen ipod with standard accessories and 4gen ipod with seperately purchased matching accessories.
  • by stroustrup (712004) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:44PM (#10104311) Journal
    one of them is useless.

    Why couldn't they have chosen a lower price?
    • because it _is_ an ipod, not just a clone. it's the same thing.

    • If I recall, the reason HP's selling this is because it comes with the proper accessories to make the iPod play nicely on PCs. I can't recall the details (someone else care to fill this in?), but there are problems with using the iPod dock to charge the machine and also sync up your files at the same time, or something silly where on Macs it "just plain works" but on PCs requires extra stuff or steps.
      • I think with the 3rd generation (3G) iPods, you couldn't recharge from the USB interface, which is what most Wintel users would use (versus FireWire). The 4G iPod, whether from Apple or HP, allows USB charging.
      • That accessory is, unless I'm mistaken, iTunes for Windows. :)

        I think it may have more to do with the "last-minute checkout suggestive sell factor", a factor which I just coined, so get down with it.

        You know how when you're at a grocery store/Wal-mart/etc. they have everything from socks to cokes to everything you came there for in the first place in the checkout line? The idea is to get people away from thinking that HP is a company run solely by people who carry slide rules in their pocket-protected-poc
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:44PM (#10104312) Homepage Journal
    I thought one of the reasons that HP was selling the iPod was so that they could sell it in "HP blue", which would have given at least 1 reason to buy it from them(I don't use HP products, so I could care less but)
  • What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grant29 (701796) * on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:45PM (#10104320) Homepage
    Same function, same price, same look.... I'd rather have the original myself.
    --

    Play the Gmail Invitation Giveaway contest. 4 invites availiable. [retailretreat.com]
    • by aflat362 (601039) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:50PM (#10104362) Homepage
      My guess is that HP is thinking that people will "throw in an HP iPod" when making an HP computer purchase.
      • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:51PM (#10104677)
        I agree.

        However, I have trouble thinking people who are going for a 500 dollar computer are going to "throw in" a 300 dollar MP3 player on the side (for whatever reason--financial or otherwise)
      • My guess is that HP is thinking that people will "throw in an HP iPod" when making an HP computer purchase.

        My guess is that HP is thinking that people will "throw in an HP PC" when making an HP iPod purchase.

      • by amichalo (132545)
        My guess is that HP is thinking that people will "throw in an HP iPod" when making an HP computer purchase.

        Exactly, plus, the whole "same price as Apple" can be fudged when the hPod is "bundled" with a computer. HP can take a loss on the computer if they are making highl margins on the hPod and the CONSUMER WINS!

        Oh and about your tag line:
        Boycott Walmart - Recycle - Vote Bush out of office in 04
        Three checks for me!
    • by Bricklets (703061) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @06:40PM (#10104943)
      To this day, do you know how many people have come up to me and inquired about the iPod I'm listening to only to then ask, "But's it's made by Apple right? Does it work on my PC?"

      These are the people HP is hoping will buy *their* iPod.
  • Invent? (Score:5, Funny)

    by caober (751395) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:46PM (#10104332)
    HP should change their "Invent" tag-line to "Copy what works and will make us money".
    • Re:Invent? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:49PM (#10104354)
      HP is tryiing to leverage it's print and media technology. They will have skins that can be printed to customize the ipods. I think 10 skins for $14.99 and sort of follows the cell phone market where you can buy various faceplates.
  • Bad bad bad... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FiReaNGeL (312636) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [l3gnaerif]> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:47PM (#10104334) Homepage
    If the price is the same... they're screwed. Apple's Ipod force is brand recognition... Same feature set too! I wonder who thought that it would be a good idea... and they got a license from Apple (which cost $$$, and maybe a % of profits)... I just don't understand?
  • More iPod units out, but possibly less iPod brand recognition? It says it's similar, but I'm curious how the iPod and hpPod differ. I guess it's good for Apple, as hpPod users will probably use the iTMS.

    -- n
    • More iPod units out, but possibly less iPod brand recognition? It says it's similar, but I'm curious how the iPod and hpPod differ. I guess it's good for Apple, as hpPod users will probably use the iTMS.

      As far as I know, the only difference is the addition of an HP logo next to the Apple logo on the back. And HP already ships iTunes pre-installed on new PCs.
  • by chrispyman (710460) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:47PM (#10104337)
    Perhaps the reason HP is doing this is so that it can perhaps bundle the iPod with some back-to-school computer they'll be selling. Though I think they'd probably get more buyers if they had some sort of "limited edition HP branded iPod".
    • I'd guess the big reason for bundling is the price of HP's PCs. People usually have a set budget when they go out to buy a computer. When buying from Apple, people know they'll be spending around or over $1,000 for a decent machine, which for most people wouldn't leave much left over for accessories. If you set a budget of $1,000, and you come accross the $499 HP PC, you have $501 left over from what you originally planned on spending, so why not bundle in a cute little useful accessory? You'll still be
    • Perhaps the reason HP is doing this is so that it can perhaps bundle the iPod with some back-to-school computer they'll be selling.

      A little late in the game, wouldn't you say?
  • Is this the first time that Apple is licensing their design/technology to another company to produce clones? Everyone gives crap to Apple for not licensing their earlier computers, and being overtaken by the IBM clones.

    Good for Apple to extend their market, but might be bad if HP competes in similar market channels.

  • Oh, why... did the poster submit a link to another Slash site?! Honestly, that's as productive as Google News linking to Slashdot! All it does is add yet another click to the process of finding the fucking news!
  • URL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jsm008us (774007) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:49PM (#10104347) Homepage Journal
    I think this is the URL to it! http://h10049.www1.hp.com/music/us/en/ipod.html?mt xs=home-ent&mtxb=B2&mtxl=L1 [hp.com] It's exactly the same! At the time of this writing, though, you could not access shopping.hp.com! Can anyone correct me if I am wrong?
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:49PM (#10104349) Homepage Journal
    The real question is really why not.

    Before, HP didn't have anything like the iPos. Now it can flesh out its home electronics lineup a little bit. You know, sell it in a package with its own computers and tailor the advertising so people don't get too confused about mixing Apple hardware with PC hardware.

    They did the same sort of rebranding with CD burners, if I recall correctly.

  • Support (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <jason@nash.gmail@com> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:49PM (#10104352)
    The HP model will come with 1 year of free phone support where I believe Apple's is 90 days.
    • Dude, who needs phone support for an iPod?
      • Re:Support (Score:5, Funny)

        by commodoresloat (172735) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @08:35PM (#10105504)
        Customer: Hello, Support? I'm having a problem with my iPod.

        Support: What seems to be the problem?

        Customer: It's making horrible wailing noises that hurt my ears!

        Support: What you need to do is to open your iPod under iTunes, go into "Artists" and delete everything by Tori Amos or Celine Dion.

        Customer: That worked! Thanks!
    • The HP model will come with 1 year of free phone support where I believe Apple's is 90 days.

      Apple recently changed their iPod phone support from 90 days to one free incident, so this is indeed a legitimate reason to choose HP.

      Note that one free incident may be better than 90 days free support, if the incident occurs after 90 days. (I'm assuming it's one free incident within the first year, not during the first 90 days; I could be mistaken). Also note that one incident doesn't mean one phone call.
  • by Robocrap (652257) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:49PM (#10104356) Homepage
    Why the need to release an iPod with an HP logo on it? I think the only impact this will have is added confusion to the average consumer. People are going to see these HP iPods, which they know full well are Apple iPods, and wonder what's different about them, when both versions are exactly the same. Furthermore, it doesn't give HP a "cooler image" as everyone and their cousin knows full well that the iPod was designed/manufactured by Apple. Some consumers may even think that HP blatantly stole Apple's design. I'm not quite sure I see the point of this, besides throwing HP a bone in return for having iTunes pre-installed on their machines.
    • by Biotech9 (704202) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:26PM (#10104557) Homepage
      I'm not quite sure I see the point of this, besides throwing HP a bone in return for having iTunes pre-installed on their machines.

      You don't see the point? Then let me show you...

      HP is the second largest PC supplier in the US. [66.102.11.104]Apple, is not. I can gaurantee you Apple will ship more ipods in the next 6 months with HPs platform to sell from than they have for the last year. HP has a market reach that is far in excess of Apples, and is an entirely different demograph. Apples target market of young fashion nerds with fat wallets already know about or have ipods, but HP can sell ipods to people that wouldn't be normally reading /. or apple.com.

      With this and Microsofts entrance into music sales, it'll be an interesting few months running up to Christmas.
      • I just don't believe that's true. If you don't know what an iPod is, I'm not sure that seeing one in the HP catalog is going to make it more attractive.

        I mean, it's been on the cover of Time. How many Dell or HP products have done that?

        As far as "Joe Six Pack" is concerned, the iPod IS the MP3 player to own. How is HP's "platform" going to help them sell more?

        Particularly since the price is the same?
  • Will it play unreal then ?????

    On a more serious note (to gove moderators a headsplitting choice between funny & insightfull), i though there were no modifications at all : it even has the Apple logo instead of an HP one... A true homerun for apple
  • Dell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lastninja (237588) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:51PM (#10104371)
    Is this really different from when Dell sold Ipods two years ago? I thought that Apple was going to license the Ipod to HP, now it looks like they have made HP into "just another reseller".
  • Retail Channels (Score:3, Informative)

    by FigWig (10981) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @04:58PM (#10104403) Homepage
    HP has lots of retail agreements, so this will get the iPod on to even more store shelves. Costco will carry them for example.

  • by Anonymous Froward (695647) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:01PM (#10104424)
    No it's not joke. Here're relevant press releases and their "HP Tattoos" gallery:
    http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/ 2004/04082 7a.html
    http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_k its/2004/ digitalexplaunch/fs_ipod.pdf
    http://h10049.www1.h p.com/music/us/en/tattoos.html
  • After all, isn't competition good for the consumer? Also, I can't imagine Apple allowing an iPod clone without at least getting a commission.
  • You will be able to print your own skin for the ipod. I think its funny that people would normaly download skins for their software mp3 players like winamp. Now you will be downloading and printing new skins for your hardware mp3 player.
    • You will be able to print your own skin for the ipod. I think its funny that people would normaly download skins for their software mp3 players like winamp. Now you will be downloading and printing new skins for your hardware mp3 player.

      I wonder if anyone will print an iPod skin that looks like the default WinAmp skin....
    • That's not really a difference since those same skins can be used with the regular iPod. Like others have mentioned before, this will allow Apple to target a completely new demographic. HP has a massive distribution channel which will now be used to push the iPod (Wal-Mart now carries the iPod).

      As far as HP is concerned, this allows them to sell a bundled solution. Music copying has become a major part of peoples computer using experience now. It also allows them to push their new printer, since it is spec
  • radioshack (Score:3, Informative)

    by b0m8ad1l (608487) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:13PM (#10104488)
    We're getting them in at RadioShack later this month
  • Yeah, its the same thing. No question.

    But think of it, HP will use resellers such as Staples, Officemax, Office Depot and other outlets which gives us a reason to use those 30$ off of 150$ coupons and other 10/20% Off coupons to buy these expensive players. For people who may balk at the 300$ price, cutting it down to 250$ sometimes is all the reason for them to spend the moolah. So repeat after me, its good for the consumers. who gives a flying fuck about whether HP had innovated or not?
  • In HP's online store the listing for the 40GB iPod lists that it is only compatible with Windows. Check near the bottom of the listing. Are these things coming preformatted for Windows/HP computers? Hmmm...
  • smart move (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:28PM (#10104570)
    Many PC/Microsoft owners "think" anything from Apple needs to be used with an Apple to work.

    HP branding makes it a more comfortable purchase, and Apple need not print "Works with Microsoft XP(tm)!" all over their boxes.

    "Gee, that HP printer said 'XP Compatible' on the box, and it sorta works, so this should, too!"

  • I covered this on my marketing/communications weblog [greg-brooks.com]. The salient points from a marketing perspective:

    HP just proved it doesn't understand basic branding: OK, so that's a pretty big smackdown to throw at a multi-billion-dollar tech giant. But consider: People buy the iPod because it's cool, it's functional and (stay with me here) because it's an iPod. If you're going to compete, you need to be different/better/unique, you need to have a dramatically lower price point, you need to have a better channel or y

  • by DeusOTdeuS (658794) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @05:41PM (#10104621)
    This is Apple's attempt to capture even more of the MP3 player FOR PC market. The problem with the iPod as is, is that it is designed for the Mac first then slightly modified for the PC. I for one never bought an iPod because it has to run through shit software to manage your songs, software that at its best was flaky. MP3 Players that are originally designed for the PC are made to for the most part be like external hard drive, just drag and drop files, no 3rd party software to use. The HP iPod will use only USB 2.0 not firewire (one more thing that PC users dont always have) and will work with HP's software, not jukebox. HP's software will make it more PC friendly and more like the interaction between PC and MP3 player that other "for PC" MP3 players have. Not only all that but many people that aren't tech savvy dont know that the iPod works for PC. And even if they do, they get told by store employees that it doesn't work well with a PC. Having HP's name on it will make it more recognizable as a "for PC" product, and stop people from saying "I would like a iPod, but I dont have a Mac." Now they can see from just the name that it will work with their PC. Its nothing really that new, but it will allow Apple to sell their iPods to people that require PC name recognition.
  • The differences are in the packaging and the material that comes with the iPod itself. The main differences are the instructions are going to be written for the WIndows user and will include one of those fold out "getting started" posters. HP felt that the Windows user needed a different sort of help with the iPod than the Mac mindset inherent in the current Apple instructions...
  • It is essentially a clone of the current design, with no real modification."

    Are you talking about the iPod or uberHacker.com?

  • by beamz (75318) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @06:30PM (#10104890)
    I knew it!!! HP bought Apple, I knew this was going to happen all along based on information previously on slashdot... I can't believe it took this long, BSD only took a year to die...

    Oh crap, I didn't rtfa. Oops.
  • A new wave of panic is sweeping RealNetworks.
  • I don't think so (Score:3, Informative)

    by OrangeHairMan (560161) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @09:46PM (#10105772)
    It is essentially a clone of the current design

    It's not a clone of the current design; it is the current design. The exact same thing. It's just in a differently labeled box.

    orange
  • Geek wants iPod.



    Geek wants company he works for to pay for it.



    Geek submits request for "40 GB external Apple FireWire HD"



    Accounting rejects request. "Apple not on approved vendor list."



    Geek submits new request for "40 GB external HP FireWire HD.



    Purchase request approved.



    Result: Apple sells another 100,000 iPods they wouldn't have been able to Geeks gaming the system in PC-centric corporate environments.


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