updated 01:30 pm EST, Thu January 8, 2004
HP, Apple partner on iPod
today announced a strategic alliance to deliver an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple's iPod. As part of the alliance, HP consumer PCs and notebooks will come preinstalled with Apple's iTunes jukebox software and an easy-reference desktop icon to point consumers directly to the iTunes Music Store. HP's digital music player is expected to become available this summer and be "competitively priced to other digital music players currently available."
"HP's goal is to bring the most compelling entertainment content and experiences to our customers," said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer at HP. "We explored a range of alternatives to deliver a great digital music experience and concluded Apple's iPod music player and iTunes music service were the best by far. By partnering with Apple, we have the opportunity to add value by integrating the world's best digital music offering into HP's larger digital entertainment system strategy."
According to internal HP research, more than 54 percent of current HP consumers download music to their PCs. Beginning this summer, the iTunes software and a desktop icon guiding users to the music site will be preloaded on HP Pavilion, Media Center and Compaq Presario desktop and notebook consumer PCs.
"Apple's goal is to get iPods and iTunes into the hands of every music lover around the world, and partnering with HP, an innovative consumer company, is going to help us do just that," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "As the industry balkanizes by offering digital music wrapped in a multitude of incompatible proprietary technologies, consumers will be reassured in getting the same unparalleled digital music solutions from both HP and Apple, two leaders in the digital music era."