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HP and Apple end iPod affair

Hurd dashes Fiorina's reselling dream

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Doing its best to erase Carly Fiorina's mistakes, HP has culled an iPod reselling agreement in place with Apple since January of 2004.

HP delivered a rather confusing message for the move, telling us that the reselling deal "met or exceeded our internal expectations" but then adding that "the iPod doesn't fit in with our digital entertainment strategy." Last quarter, Apple shipped 6.2m iPods worth more than $1bn in revenue. HP captured about 5 per cent of total iPod sales on average per quarter. The deal, however, never really took on the shape in the way HP had hoped. It got off to a slow start, as HP received new product some considerable time after Apple released it, and without the ability to customize the gear as much as HP desired.

"HP remains committed to its overall digital enterprise strategy," a spokesman told El Reg.

HP declined to say if it would develop a new device in-house or if it would link up with another device maker. Ironically, Compaq pioneered the MP3 player market. HP later shoved this research to the side after buying the company.

Former HP CEO Fiorina did a lot to deaden HP's reputation as an inventive powerhouse. She killed off HP's PA-RISC processor in favor of Intel's Itanium chip and axed huge chunks of HP's software divisions. Along similar lines, Fiorina announced at the 2004 CES that HP would sell the iPod and bundle iTunes with its PCs.

The deal between Apple and HP was billed as a rare love affair of the Mac and Wintel communities. That didn't last long, did it? ®

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