“Last summer, Hewlett-Packard Co. found itself in an awkward position for a premier computer company: It hadn’t fielded a single candidate in the fast-growing market of digital music players. HP had gone through numerous music player designs and had built several prototypes to show to focus groups around the country. But people kept saying they preferred the celebrated iPod from Apple Computer Inc.,” Terril Yue Jones reports for the Los Angeles Times.
Jones reports, “Tom Anderson, HP’s vice president of marketing for consumer PCs, couldn’t say he was surprised. The self-proclaimed gadget freak had snapped up an iPod soon after Apple introduced the sleek white devices in October 2001, loading it with classical music and tunes from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. He knew the iPod was the gold standard. ‘Apple did everything right,’ Anderson said. Everything HP did, he added, ‘looked like a compromise.'”
“So HP switched gears. It dropped an industry bombshell at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month when it announced it would sell the iPod under the HP brand name,” Jones reports. “Apple sold 1.45 million iPods last year, according to IDC, and the arrival of “hPods” will instantly triple or quadruple sales of the device, technology analyst Rob Enderle predicts. ‘This deal explodes their potential,’ he said.”
Full article here.