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Media (Apple) Media Businesses Apple

HP and Apple Separate; Apple gets Custody 213

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the can't-buy-me-love dept.
Kasracer writes "Yesterday, The Register reported that HP separated from Apple's iPod selling agreement. 'Doing its best to erase Carly Fiorina's mistakes, HP has culled an iPod reselling agreement in place with Apple since January of 2004.' It is unclear whether or not HP will create an mp3 player or partner with another computer to fill the void."
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HP and Apple Separate; Apple gets Custody

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  • Is it just me... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by optikshell (786466)
    or did I miss the point of the partnership in the first place?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:19AM (#13202399)
      You missed the point.

      It worked for Apple because it got iPods in more retail outlets, expanded production lines, spread liability and production expense, and got iTunes put on HP computers.

      It worked for HP by allowing them to associate themselves with the cool cachet of the iPod brand.

      That was the idea, anyway. I think Apple got a lot more out of the deal, though, which is why HP pulled the plug.
    • Salesmen used to pitch it at me that it was exactly the same, but that the HP version was designed to be more compatible with a Wintel PC (that is, that it was already formatted FAT32 instead of HFS+, please correct me if I'm wrong).

      But yes, I think the HP iPod was just a case of shameless corporate me-too-ism. They got a fabrication/marketing deal with Apple when they were selling like hotcakes. It probably pulled in some dollars, but to me it's just a sign of how intellectually bankrupt HP is.

      • Re:Is it just me... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:24AM (#13202426) Homepage Journal
        That really isn't true anymore. There used to be separate Mac and PC models, the Mac used HFS+, The PC version used FAT32.

        FAT32 is the default file system for Apple iPod now, unless you reformat it. If you do have a Mac, reformatting it and putting Journaled HFS+ isn't that bad of an idea, though journaling itself isn't totally necessary.
        • Let me clarify.

          The journaling helps in case a file gets corrupted. So long as you keep backups, it isn't all that necessary, but I think journalling can save time fixing the file, at the expense of a little bit of capacity.

          I think now, if you install an iPod using a PC, it defaults to FAT32 because there isn't a free or included HFS+ driver for Windows. On a Mac, I think you get the choice of FAT32 or HFS+, I am not sure. The manual claimed that to use iPod with a Mac, it has to be HFS+, but I managed to
          • by topham (32406)
            Journaling will allow the filesystem to be fixed, without causing further corruption.

            It doesn't guarantee a file isn't corrupt.

            The problem under OS X is the preference files are not flushed to disk when they should be. (They occasionally get corrupted and cause grief)
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:51AM (#13202554)
          For an iPod out of the box. They are all HFS+, but if you install the PC software before connecting the iPod it will prompt you to restore it to be FAT32. If you connect the iPod before installing the software, things get all confused, the OS will prompt you to reformat it, and it'll cease to play music until you restore it.

          There used to be FAT32 iPods and HFS+ iPods from the factory, but not any more.

          iPods don't journal their HFS+. I'm honestly not quite sure what good journalling HFS+ is anyway, I've seen many friends have their drive go corrupt even with journalling on, and it does slow things down a skosh too.
          • Actually my stock 4G iPod looks like this out of the box:

            [main:~] username% diskutil info /dev/disk2s3
            Device Node: /dev/disk2s3
            Device Identifier: disk2s3
            Mount Point: /Volumes/PodName
            Volume Name: PodName

            File System: Journaled HFS+
            Journal size 8192 k at offset 0x19b000
            Owners: Disabled
            Partition Type: Apple_HFS
            Bootable: Is bootable
            Media Ty

          • For Apple iPods, yes HFS+ is the default. But as far as I know, HP iPods come FAT32 formatted, but can be reformatted HFS+ on a Mac as easily as Apple iPods can be reformatted FAT32 on a PC.
          • They are all HFS+, but if you install the PC software before connecting the iPod it will prompt you to restore it to be FAT32. If you connect the iPod before installing the software, things get all confused, the OS will prompt you to reformat it, and it'll cease to play music until you restore it.

            That's not true of all of them. A friend of mine has an iPod Shuffle, for instance, and tried to make it work without the software before he installed the software (he was used to other models that simply play wha
      • All of the iPods HP ever sold were compatible with both platforms out of the box. I don't even think they sold the 3G ones, but I can't remember for sure. You have to use iTunes to set it up initially anyway and you can always reformat it to use the other platform later.

        I can see a salesperson saying something stupid like that. After all, mauve databases have the most RAM.

    • Don't worry, none of us who work at HP understood it either. Blame it on the fucking moron Carly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:16AM (#13202383)
    Out of the $1.2billion from iPod sales made by Apple, HP contributed $15million.

    That's not much in the scheme of things, and even less when you consider the size of most of HP's other markets.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Having sold many many many ipods, I noticed an interesting trend where most buyers, including Windows users, preferred to buy the Apple branded iPod over the HP one.

      Many customers went so far as ordering an out of stock Apple version instead of buying the in-stock HP ipod - Last Christmas season we quiickly sold out of Apple iPods and only then did the HP units start to move.

      Technically the only real difference between the two is that Apple provides support for only the Apple branded ones, same with HP
      • "...so I think that the Apple brand itself was the draw."

        Maybe. For me the HP brand is a major disincentive. As the owner of a Compaq/HP Presario R3000, what HP did to the OS alone will assure I never buy anything from the company again, at home or work.

  • Not too surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:18AM (#13202395) Homepage Journal
    The iPod line was changing quicker than HP was getting updated models, currently a sub-generation behind with just getting the 30GB Photo in and Apple cut it from their own line, I think that's about a three or so month delay.

    As the Register article points out, it points out that HP really wasn't about "invent", despite their logo.
  • by julesh (229690) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:20AM (#13202401)
    "Partner with another computer to fill the void?"

    Does nobody edit these submissions?
  • by Pingsmoth (249222) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:22AM (#13202415) Homepage
    What HP really needed to make this deal a winner was an "HP Store". They could have employees dress all trendy and sell HP products and accessories for their iPod, as well as explain this whole deal to the public.

    "So, this is an iPod, right?"

    "No way, man. It's an HP iPod"

    "But it looks like an iPod"

    (pause) "Righteous! But it's totally an HP iPod. See this logo on the back?"

    "But I wanted to get one of those iPods my friends have. I thought this was one."

    (longer pause) ...It's an HP iPod!"
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:22AM (#13202417)
    The day they quit making calculators is the day everybody knew HP's strategy was going to become utterly wrong. Whatever venture they decided to pursue after that can be safely regarded as not-very-sensible. The wording of their PR statement after the iPod settlement simply confirms that they still don't have a clue what to do next.

    • That gives me an idea for their new slogan - "what next?"
    • How long will it take for HP to start really hacking up the company to finish the "de-Fiorina" process?

      Printing is still their biggest business, but they also do a solid business in corporate Windows servers. Which of the other business groups will get chopped? Consulting? Digital cameras?
    • by Zordak (123132) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @12:15PM (#13202674) Homepage Journal
      Carly Fiorina was their mistake. I hate that woman. She ruined one of the most respectable companies in engineering. It's not just the calculators. HP used to be synonymous with quality in instrumentation. That's what Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started doing in their garage fer cryin' out loud! Now that's been spun off (how can you buy an instrument named "Agilent" with a straight face), the Australian Calculator Division is closed, THEY MERGED WITH FRIGGIN' COMPAQ, MAKERS OF THE CRAPPIEST COMPUTERS SINCE PACKARD BELL, and the HP brand means nothing more than "Mediocre PCs." Honestly, does she go and piss on their graves every week too? Is she sleeping with Satan? What's up with that woman?
    • The day they quit making calculators is the day everybody knew HP's strategy was going to become utterly wrong.

      Yea I was real disappointed HP stopped maker their calculators. I've still got my HP 15C but wanted to replace it with an HP 28. Then I found out they discontinued their calculators.

      Falcon
    • HP stoped making calculators? Maybe for 1 year.

      But look at this....

      http://www.hp.com/calculators/ [hp.com]
  • by gunpowda (825571) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:22AM (#13202418)
    But I came across little or no advertising for HP's version of the iPod. If I remember correctly, the only differences were the extended support time and the logo on the back.

    How did such an agreement ever make sense from HP's point of view? When people buy an iPod they're often buying into the ethos as well as the functionality. They want the brand. HP re-marketing iPods is just brand dilution. And there was nothing special about 'their' model anyway.

  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:23AM (#13202423)
    I can totally understand HP's position on this. Selling the iPod doesn't fit into their current corporate strategy of offering products that absolutely nobody wants.
  • by IIDX (873577) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:23AM (#13202424)
    As far as I know, their contract stated that HP has to wait until 2006 before they can release their own MP3 player.
  • by moo083 (716213) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:24AM (#13202425)
    Unlike what the article says, at least for a while (a year I think), HP cannot make its own MP3 player or sell another one, because of a Non-Competition agreement they made with Apple at the beginning of their iPod selling. I mean, it is possible that they decided this period of time without an MP3 player for sale was worth it for what they would do after, but who knows what will happen at that point.
  • I'm not surprised at this. Apple weren't really all that bothered with this, it would only generate so many sales. Apple are all ready selling iPods in almost every shop imaginable, so it won't harm then, and HP aren't gonna make much money, since who want's an HP iPod when you can get a real one straight from Apple. Frankly I'm surprised it lasted this long. I doubt HP will bother trying to develop something. After all, Apple already have like 85% of the market wrapped up, and what they don't, Creative
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:27AM (#13202447)
    No wireless. Same size as an Apple iPod. Lame.
  • Good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:31AM (#13202469) Homepage Journal
    I never got why HP did this. It looked nothing more than what it probably was--a desperate attempt to try to cash in on a popular name. Was there any reason to buy an HP iPod instead of an Apple one? Same price, same warranty, same everything, right? Didn't even have an HP logo on it, IIRC. I always thought the only people who would buy one were people who bought one at the same time they were buying a machine. Is it worth it to advertise, track inventory, etc., for what must have been only a handful of sales? (Evidently not.) No sense mentioning that carrying a competitor's product always seemed pretty dumb.

    I hate to sound like one of those people who say "Apple is perfect and everyone should copy them" but one of the good things Apple has done recently is simplify and standardize their line and ComHPaq should really follow. PowerMac and PowerBook have been around for ages, and even if people might not know the name "powermac" (thinking instead of it as just "a Macintosh") there are just as many people who think *any* notebook is "a powerbook." iMac and iBook have both been around for over 5 years. Those items, plus the iPod, are the core of their line and just about everyone knows them. Those items, plus the Mac mini, eMac, and displays, are pretty much Apple's *entire line*, so it's easy to figure out what's going on, there is very little overlap and, even more importantly, clear distinctions as to *why* you should buy one over another--not just categories for categories' sake. (The only fuzziness comes from the 12" PowerBook. Lots of people ask me about that versus the iBooks, especially now that the iBooks have G4s. Otherwise, everything else is clear as day. People pretty much look at the line and figure out what they want in a few minutes.)

    OTOH, only a few people even recognize the names 'Presario' and 'Pavilion' (nothing like carrying two lines that totally overlap; I see no difference today compared to how the lines were when HP & CPQ were two companies) and beond the general product names, look at the items--d4100y, d4100e, a1050y, a1010y, a1030e, a1000y, SR1020T, SR1010Z, SR1020V. (Yes, the mix of upper- and lower-case letters is just as ComHPaq describes them.) What the fuck is all that?
    • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by boomerny (670029) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:44AM (#13202521)
      yup, using cryptic model names is bad for business as far as I'm concerned. Do people go into a store and ask for an iPod or a Sony NW-HD5? An iMac or a Sony VGC-RB42G? Keep it simple, folks.
      • You mean like the Sony Network Walkman and the Sony Vaio?
        • Re:Good. (Score:2, Interesting)

          by FCYTravis (870435)
          Did you mean a Sony Vaio U101, a Sony Vaio VGN-A690, a Sony Vaio R505JL or a Sony Vaio PCG-C1VE? Is there some computer randomizer that comes up with these product codes?
      • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Fear the Clam (230933)
        Keep it simple and keep it non-goofy too, please. Mod me down if you want, but I'm willing to bet that Creative has lost at least one sale because someone didn't want to tell their friends that they bought a "MuVo Slim" or "Zen Touch."
      • Re:Good. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by toddestan (632714)
        Well, Apple isn't that different. For example, take the 20GB iPod. What generation is it? Does it have the clickwheel? Is it an iPod photo? What revision? There are many different things that can be called a "20GB iPod".

        Or how about the PowerMac G5 dual 2Ghz machine? What revision is it? Is it one of the machines from a couple years ago with all the goodies, or is it the newer low end 2Ghz model that's been stripped of some of the high end features?

        Or the iMac. Is it one of the gumdrop CRT ones? D
        • Or the iMac. Is it one of the gumdrop CRT ones? Does it have a tray or slot loading drive? Or is it a DVD drive? Does it have firewire ports? What revision is? What color is it? How much video ram does it have? If you're trying to buy a used iMac, these can be very important questions - a DVD drive and firewire ports means you can probably get Tiger on it, otherwise you might have settle for an older version of Mac OS.

          If I'm looking for a used computer, and they don't give the specs, but just the model #, t
      • Re:Good. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JimBobJoe (2758)
        yup, using cryptic model names is bad for business as far as I'm concerned.

        There are exceptions to this, but I'm not sure if they really are exceptions, or the companies think they are exceptions.

        One of the main ones is luxury vehicles. European brands (MB, BMW, Saab, Volvo) never named their cars, and stuck to number/letter combinations. When Honda introduced Acura, they kept to the Japanese idea of naming vehicles, but, when Infiniti and Lexus were introduced, Nissan and Toyota, respectively, wanted to e
    • by piecewise (169377) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:58AM (#13202591) Journal
      Same price, same warranty, same everything, right? Didn't even have an HP logo on it

      Quick correction.......

      Same price, different warranty, different accessories, and yes, an HP logo. But nice try! Go work for CNN or Fox. ;-)
    • by kevcol (3467)
      In much of the 90s during St. Steven's exile, Apple's product line was similarly convoluted. The proliferation of pre-G3 PowerMacs and Performa models back then was Insanely Stupid.
    • Re:Good. (Score:2, Informative)

      by rreay (50160)
      I'm sure at least part of it was distribution. HP had distribution channels that Apple didn't. For example, the iPods selling in RadioShack were the HP models. It worked for both of them, Apple got iPods in places they normally couldn't, and HP got to sell iPods to retailers without directly competing with Apple.

      Recently however RadioShack and Apple started working together [appleinsider.com]. If Apple is undercutting HPs distribution by going straight to the retailers why should HP stay in this particular game.
    • 12" pb v ibook is a cost question. the g4 in the pb and the g4 in the ibook are *not* the same "g4". pb = coreimage. If all you need it for is wordprocessing, surfing the web, etc, ibook. (i.e. "unless you're a power user, get yourself an ibook and be done with it. and if you are a power user, you still might not need the powerbook, but you might WANT it)
  • Invent? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sapgau (413511) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:40AM (#13202504) Journal
    Wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity to engage their creative forces and reinforce their "Invent" slogan?

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:42AM (#13202512)
    I think MSFT put some pressure on HP to drop this partnership. Sure, there were other issues such as price protection and what not but I certainly don't buy the "not invented here" excuse.

    Just look at their line of PC's. They are just branded and assembled from off the shelf parts and motherboards leaving really nothing to distinguish them from the hundreds other PC assemblers. They don't even have unique software to offer as it all comes from another company (MSFT) now. HP Invent? Sure, if the definition of Invention is it take some product and slap on a sticker.

    Their whole business model, outside of printers, is to resell other companies products as their own brand.

    • Yes. This is why they don't need research anymore. It looks and sounds great to the management holding shares. But in the end when you don't add value to a product the people will eventually cut you out of the equation.

      With the emergence of Taiwan, I would be shorting HP pretty soon.
    • And one more point to add that I just thought of. The strategy of rebranding depends heavily on 'brand' recognition. How does selling a strongly recognized brand like 'ipod' enhance the brand recognition of HP? It doesen't.
      • I think you hit the main reason -- Originally, HP announced that they were going to make a custom version of the iPod that could be identified as an HP product. They eventually just repackaged the "Apple iPod By HP", which really did nothing for them. They don't need to put their name on the box to resell iPods.

        As for the original point about Microsoft, that's really the effect more than the cause. HP also pushes Linux a lot, and anything else they can get off-the-shelf with minimal effort. The entire compu
    • I think MSFT put some pressure on HP to drop this partnership

      Now that they're moving towards just supporting Windows Server on Itanium (no more HP-UX on PA-RISC, Tru64 and VMS on Alpha, or NonStop), they've become Microsoft's bitch.
    • They are just branded and assembled from off the shelf parts and motherboards...

      That's true in some cases, but not the entire story. HP doesn't just place a giant order to the factory for a bunch of motherboards. The company has specific performance and compatibility standards that must be met. If that can be done with off the shelf products, so much the better - it's less expensive because a new part does not need to be manufactured. But you'll find that in many instances, the parts in an HP computer (
  • For HP's expanded retail market presence.
  • by amper (33785) * on Saturday July 30, 2005 @12:03PM (#13202615) Journal
    And finally, the new VAIO Pocket is touted as the "iPod Killer" and it's easy to see why. Apple should be afraid; very afraid indeed.


    Don't make me laugh. Sony pre-announced the VAIO Pocket over one year ago. In that time, Apple has sold, what, something like 18 million plus iPods?

    3Q2005 iPod sales ~= 6.2 million units
    2Q2005 iPod sales ~= 5.3 million units
    1Q2005 iPod sales ~= 4.5 million units
    4Q2004 iPod sales ~= 2.0 million units
    3Q2004 iPod sales ~= 0.86 million units

    Do Mr. Robinson and The Register seriously think that the VAIO Pocket is going to "kill" a product line which has sold nearly 20 million units just in the time since Sony pre-announced the VAIO Pocket? Never mind what the rest of the world has already said concerning the viability of the VAIO Pocket...

    Apple isn't stitting in Cupertino on their hands, I'm certain.
  • WAL-MART (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slashpot (11017)
    Its all about selling iPods in Wal-Mart. HP could get them on Wal-Mart shelves fast - so Apple "partnered".

    Do you see any Apple powerbooks or ibooks in Wal-Mart? No - and soon you won't see iPods anymore. So the bulk of joe blow americans who buy all their crap and wally world will soon only have the choice of non-iPods mp3 players. Like creative's zen. Which supports wma (i.e. joe blow can use it with yahoo music and not have spend money buy iTunes songs). Which leads us back to Microsoft waging a DR
    • Re:WAL-MART (Score:4, Informative)

      by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> on Saturday July 30, 2005 @01:40PM (#13203129)
      Our Walmart now has a iPod section. For the moment, they have BOTH versions. HP and Apple iPods. Sure, Walmart already had a in with Walmart and Apple did not. I think part of this was so Apple could see how to get into Walmart. Either that, or Walmart went to Apple upon rumors of the HP stopping the deal and now that is why the APPLE iPod is now on the shelf at my local Walmart.
  • Halo Effect (Score:4, Funny)

    by seven of five (578993) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @12:27PM (#13202739) Homepage
    Carly just wanted to hang out with Steve Jobs and see if some of the coolness would rub off.

    It didn't.
  • by paiute (550198) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @12:30PM (#13202759)
    I bought two HP iPods for my daughters at Costco for Christmas last year. They were 20 bucks cheaper each than other places, and they worked fine with an iMac and an eMac. I discovered the hidden benefit to buying them at Costoc when one got dropped and the screen cracked. It was unusable and unrepairable. It looked like I was out of luck until I called Costco. No problem, they said. Return anytime up to a year. No questions asked. So I did, and they did. I bought another iPod, same style, same Costco.

    I drop several hundred bucks each month at Costco just on food. Now I look there first for all other items on my wish list.

    • I have a Costco membership. I have been there twice this year. I probably won't renew and most likely cancel before the end of the year.
      Couple of Reasons:
      1. No Deep Freeze. Everything there you need to buy 10 of. I can understand if you have a family with multiple kids but it is just two of us in an apartment.

      2. Prices aren't that much better on everything else. The nice thing about them is the stuff they carry is different. In other words something that the normal grocery stores don't carry. Plus since the
  • At the time that HP began to sell the IPod, it was a brilliant move on the part of Apple, because their distribution network was not as robust as HP's at the time. It was only during the deal that Apple began letting anyone that wanted to sell Ipods, and not just their approved retails like CompUSA or the Apple Store. HP was able to sell them at places like Fry's and Circuit City. I know that only reason that I have an HP Ipod is that when my father went looking to buy me one last christmas, there seemed to
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Carly Fiorina, and the thousands like her, will ultimately destroy our economy. Unskilled, unintelligent, they use their lack of morals and moronic execu-speak BS to slither to the top, where they inevitably fail, costing the economy millions.

    Personally, I think such people shouldn't be fired or allowed to quit. They should be publically executed on the show American Executive Survivor. Something for the family.
    • > where they inevitably fail, costing the economy millions.

      Condemn her if you want, I rejoice in her stupidity as confirmation of evolution in action. For all those who fear the huge soulless corporations, let her be an object lesson. If we can get the government out of the business of propping them up, most of those corporations can't survive the loss of their founder by more than 10-20 years. Small nimble companies are much better adapted to serving the customer.

      Think about it. how many 19th century
    • Tsk tsk, the problem is not with the slimey executive, the problem is with the stupid board of directors who appoints the executive. And who puts these people up? The majority shareholders, thats who. Big financial institutions (banks, pension funds, insurance funds, etc). They put Carly there to make a quick buck. And make bucks they did. Who looses? Day traders, and mom and pop. Think of it as a form of Darwins Evolution theory, but for making money. A new sucker is born every minute.
  • When I initially said this was a boneheaded move [slashdot.org], several Slashdotters disagreed. They made great points in rebuttal, but HP still disregarded a lot of basic branding wisdom when they tried to become iPod sellers.

    Having said that, the question is: Are they any smarter now? If you look across their total product landscape, it's hard to see how.

    HP, like Coca-Cola, is one of those brands that's both massive and powerful -- but not especially smart or self-aware.

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