“Hewlett-Packard’s new chief executive, Mark Hurd, has been described as an execution whiz with a track record of growing and turning around lackluster businesses. Perhaps one of the things he will help HP better execute is its partnership with Apple Computer over the iPod music player,” Lisa DiCarlo writes for Forbes.
“When HP and Apple announced in January 2004 that HP would resell a branded version of Apple’s smash hit product, the iPod, both companies had high hopes. HP’s then-chief executive, Carly Fiorina, said partnering with Apple would provide an opportunity to add value to HP’s ambitious digital entertainment strategy. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said HP would help Apple ‘get iPods and iTunes into the hands of every music lover around the world.’ It hasn’t exactly worked out as planned,” DiCarlo writes. “HP declined to comment for this article, saying that iPod-related news may be forthcoming in the next few months.”
“HP sold about 321,000 iPods in the fourth quarter, while Apple sold 4.58 million; it has sold more than 10 million to date. On the surface, Apple doesn’t seem to need HP to move more iPods,” DiCarlo writes. “HP’s iPod (which is identical to Apple’s) seems to fly in the face of HP’s tagline ‘invent,’ as does the branding of the product ‘Apple iPod from HP.’ Unless it can create the same kind of halo effect for other HP products that Apple has been able to with its products, it’s unclear what the advantages are for HP.”
“For that matter, what are the advantages for Apple? The company was likely attracted to HP because of its broad distribution reach with retailers and its status as a top PC supplier,” DiCarlo writes. “But if it’s not moving as many iPods as Apple hoped, and Apple is selling several million of them each quarter on its own, what’s the point?”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Exactly. What is the point? As we wrote in our take back on February 9th, “Fiorina got jobbed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs with the ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal. We actually felt bad for her, seeing her onstage holding up that blueish-grey iPod mockup. Steve must have had a really good laugh after he got the ink on that deal. How could Fiorina justify that deal with HP’s slogan ‘Invent’ plastered everywhere? It was totally ridiculous. Why not just come right out and say, ‘Oh, ‘Invent’ is only a marketing slogan, we don’t really invent anything anymore, silly!'”
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Hewlett-Packard ousts CEO Carly Fiorina, and what was with that ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal anyway? – February 09, 2005