HP + Apple

This is interesting. HP and Apple are joining forces to create an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple’s iPodâ„¢. The device will be due out this summer. I had mixed reactions upon first seeing the news. My immediate thoughts went back to the Mac clones of 7 or 8 years ago. But I’m assuming Apple and Jobs know what they’re doing by OEMing the device for another brand powerhouse.

It certainly seems this could continue the increase in exposure of Apple’s hardware and software. According to the release:

As part of the alliance, HP consumer PCs and notebooks will come preinstalled with Apple’s iTunes® jukebox software and an easy-reference desktop icon to point consumers directly to the iTunes Music Store, ensuring a simple, seamless music experience.

If nothing else, it’s an interesting experiment while Apple is enjoying the market leader position in the digital music player space. Will Apple benefit in the long run? Who knows? But it’s a brave step either way.