Friday, August 27, 2004

WSJ.com - H-P to Sing Apple's Songs

WSJ.com - H-P to Sing Apple's Songs "But beneath its slim white-and-silver casing -- not blue, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs originally predicted -- H-P's iPod is largely the same as the latest models sold by Apple, and it will be made by the same contract-assembly companies Apple uses. Users of H-P's iPod will be able to buy and download songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store, but not from rival online music stores, the same as with Apple's version, these people add.
H-P is bringing Apple's technology into other H-P products as well. The Palo Alto, Calif., company, which already has started shipping H-P personal computers with iTunes software loaded on them, today also plans to discuss the use of iTunes software in a new class of device that is styled as a central command hub for home entertainment. This "digital entertainment center," which looks like a digital videodisc player and is designed to be paired with a television set, can play DVDs, store digital photos and music, and act as a personal video recorder.
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For Apple, H-P's iPod introduction will bring the device into hundreds of additional retail outlets. Apple currently sells its iPod through about 12,000 stores and other channels, including its own Apple-branded stores, its Apple Web site and various resellers, according to brokerage Needham & Co. H-P, meanwhile, sells its wares through 110,000 retail outlets world-wide, including large electronics chains such as CompUSA Inc., notes Needham. If just a tenth of H-P's retail outlets start selling the music player, that could nearly double the iPod's distribution, says Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham.
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The iPod and the digital entertainment center are just two pieces of a far bigger push by H-P into consumer electronics. The tech giant is rolling out more than 200 consumer-oriented products today, including plasma TVs and liquid-crystal-display TVs, home projectors and new "media center" computers that tie together digital photos, music and other content. In addition, H-P is releasing a large number of digital photography-related products, such as smaller and more portable photo printers, fade-resistant inks for printing digital photos, and bundles of photo paper and ink cartridges designed to cut the cost of printing a digital image."

Two problems with this strategy: Sony and Dell...
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