Hewlett-Packard released their version of the iPod on Friday, along with a raft of other digital photography, home theater, and entertainment products. At about the same time, Amazon.com began taking orders for the Apple iPod + hp with 20-gigabyte and 40-gigabyte storage capacities.
I have no idea how well H-P's versions of the iPod will sell, but a couple of things really struck me about the announcement:
H-P went out of its way to call its version of the iPod, the "Apple iPod + hp". For me, this is the most stunning aspect of H-P's digital music alliance with Apple so far. When I talked about this digital music alliance at its announcement back in January, I had no idea of the extent to which Hewlett-Packard would attempt to leverage the names "Apple" and "iPod". The H-P versions of the iPod are full-fledged co-branded products. This tells me a lot about how strong H-P thinks these brand names are in the digital music space.
- H-P came up with the concept of HP Printable Tattoos that allow you to put a colorful, removable design on an iPod. This is a compelling way to tie H-P's printing franchise to their digital music initiative, particularly since they are also partnering with Universal Music Group to offer custom tattoo designs based on cover art from Universal music releases.
The HP Printable Tattoos are cut specifically to fit the fourth-generation iPod form. When I saw this concept, I thought to myself, "This is a neat way to customize my iPod." At the moment, I don't have a fourth-generation iPod or a color printer, but I want them now. I'm sure that I am not the only person thinking this.
I give H-P a lot of credit for coming up with a creative way to get people to buy more of their inks and media. The HP Printable Tattoo concept provides an opportunity to take the iPod fashion statement to another level-- one that will undoubtedly be very profitable for H-P.
I will post a follow up article once I find out more details about recommended printers and inks for use with HP Printable Tattoos. [ iPod with HP Printable Tattoo image courtesy of Hewlett-Packard ]