AppleInsider is reporting that HP may not be carrying iPods any longer.
Here is a regurgitation from Engadget:
"The end of the HP iPod?"
"We know, we know, besides a little engraved logo on the back there’s not really any difference between HP’s version of the iPod and the original, so it’s not like this news is going to ruin anybody’s day or anything, but AppleInsider says that HP has stopped placing orders for the iPod after a dispute with Apple over price protection policies. (HP currently offers their own versions of the 20GB and 40GB 4G iPods and is supposed to offer an HP iPod photo at some future point.) Basically HP wants a guarantee that Apple won’t cut the price of the iPod, they’re worried they’d have to match any price cuts and take a loss on the players (or at least see some serious hurting of their profit margins). They’ll probably figure something out, but we’re guessing that Apple (and probably the rest of the world) could take it or leave it—only 7% of iPods sold last quarter sported an HP logo on them."
One reader comment:
"In general, I always thought this was about as dorky as you can get for HP. Did anybody REALLY think HP added any value to this relationship? It comes off like a pity move . . . like Mercedes Benz allowing Nissan to put their nameplate on a C-class in the hopes that people will think it's a really nice Altima."
HP brought a LOT to the table. The iPod tattoos is one element. Direct from iPod printing to most of their newest printers is another. Also, and this is a BIG also: HP brought even MORE distribution channels! Try 7700 Radio Shack stores!
Part of the iPods popularity is that you cannot avoid it. It's being force fed to everyone!
Also, HP has a much better marketing and PR department than Apple. I have done several demo days for the HP iPod myself. They make a big impact. I was able to upsell anyone who was looking for ANY type of audio device at the Circuit City where I did my demos.
To top it off Apple is able to have iTunes installed on PCs. It's not just for iTunes. It also means Quicktime is installed by default. Audio and Video apps open by default in these two programs.
AppleInsider has no idea what they are talking about - it's most likely just a contract renegotiation. Carly Fiorina said she was VERY happy with the results so far.
(But I'd like to know where the figures are coming from, because Fiorina's keynote put it at 11%)