Analyst: Hewlett-Packard may want to make their own MP3 music players

“Consumer electronics industry analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, said HP may want to make MP3 music players of its own — and reap greater financial return than they would receive as a manufacturer, rather than distributor of Apple’s products,” Dawn C. Chmielewski reports for The San Jose Mercury News.

“‘HP, even when they did this deal, was criticized that they were not innovating in their own way in this field,’ said Bajarin. ‘I think, from Mark Hurd’s position and HP’s condition, this decision came down to one of controlling their own destiny.’ Under terms of a non-compete clause, HP cannot make a music player to compete with the iPod until August 2006. HP would not comment on terms of the contract or future product plans,” Chmielewski reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, HP should go ahead and make their own MP3 players; everyone else is doing such a great job competing with iPod that we’re sure it’ll be a resounding success. Now, about that nearly 8% US market share of digital music players that the instantly-former #2-seller HP had with “Apple iPod by HP” products? They’ll probably never see that high a percentage of the music player market again. We’ve got at least 14,500 reasons why the iPod deal is the least of HP’s problems right now.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Report: Hewlett-Packard to stop reselling Apple iPods by September – July 29, 2005
HP adds ‘Apple iPod shuffle from HP’ to digital music player line – July 01, 2005
Hewlett-Packard adds ‘Apple iPod mini from HP’ to iPod digital music player lineup – June 02, 2005
Hewlett-Packard expands branded iPod lineup, announces ‘Apple iPod photo from HP’ models – April 12, 2005
Hewlett-Packard adds ‘iPod dock holder’ to latest Media Center desktop – March 31, 2005
What’s the point of continuing the ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal? – March 30, 2005
Hewlett-Packard ousts CEO Carly Fiorina, and what was with that ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal anyway? – February 09, 2005
Apple, Hewlett-Packard debut new iPod television commericals – August 30, 2004
Hewlett-Packard-branded Apple iPod to debut Friday – August 26, 2004
Why Hewlett-Packard took Apple’s iPod shortcut – February 02, 2004


  1. HP was once a great engineering company. Now it reeps its profits from ink jet cartridges. They are pathetic whether they make their own MP3 players, or sell Apple’s. In fact, within the next year, I predict you will see the company split up into seperate comapnies as a survival tactic. These are the consequences of having Carly Fiorina run your company.

    MDN magic word=between

    As in, with or without Apple, HP is between a rock and a hard place. Thanks Carly!

  2. I can’t imagine them wanting to enter that space on their own. Visions of jumping off the boat at Normandy come to mind, although they’re only going to be armed with a pen knife (if they’re lucky).

  3. “They’ll probably never see that high a percentage of that market again.”

    But the question is, how much money were they making selling Apple’s product? They earned no style points by selling other’s innovations. So maybe selling your own device poorly is a net gain beyond the books. Even so, others pointed out that HP has to wait over a year to sell their own designs on a non-compete clause in the iPod contract. I think it’s a lose, lose, lose situation for HP.

  4. to Ex HP employee:

    Roger– is that you?! I know you’re bitter about how I dominate in the bedroom (and the thing that happened on the rocking chair with your brother), but it’s pretty spineless to bring our little argument out here to MDN!! Tsk. Tsk.

    P.S. I want my feathered stockings back, you perv.

  5. is this ‘report’ based on anything at all?

    they resell the best c.e. product on the market.

    speculation = they are really looking to stop riding apple’s coattails to easy $.


  6. Wonder why the didn’t keep selling until their non-compete was over in August 2006? Why give up that 8% of the market cash until HP could release their own product? Must be more to this.

  7. I don’t think HP will develop thir own music player. I do see HP picking up one of the many player manufacturers that are near extinction, develop a cohesive (aqnd recognizable form factor) and rebrand it.

    HP isn’t Apple, but their interface (key to player success) expertise is better than every one else, excepting Apple. iRiver is where I would turn if I were HP. iRiver’s products are better than Creative’s, and iRiver would cost a lot less to acquire.

  8. HP is an excellent consumer electronics company, and I think they realize the importance of the relationship between the iPod and iTMS. Right now there is a lot of weakness in player manufacturers AND online music resellers. Not many firms have the resources AND brand to bring these two elements together at this stage using MSFT’s crap WMA.

    I can see HP button holing MSFT with very strong suggestions on how to improve Media Player, get some financial assistance from MSFT to acquire a player manufacturer AND an online music service. HP will then use its expertise to create a psuedo iPod/iTMS integration with their product.

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