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Discover New Music

  • Velocifero

    • 6 out of 10
    • Ladytron
    • "Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album,

  • Supernature

    • 10 out of 10
    • Goldfrapp
    • On their latest CD, Supernature, Goldfrapp has put together a successful mix of 1980-era New Romanticism, German cabaret, and T. Rex glam that leaves you riveted even through the album's lulls. It's a great amalgam that sounds current without sounding at all dated.

  • One Word Extinguisher

    • 8 out of 10
    • Prefuse 73
    • It's an album about a breakup, done with beats instead of mopey lyrics. But the beats are raw, and the emotions are there, even if there aren't many words on top of it. While possibly not Scott Herren
  • Pretty Hate Machine

    • 8 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • For years I wanted to make music that sounded like something between Love and Rockets and Ministry. In 1989, Trent Reznor beat me to it with this genre-defining album, and it smacked me upside the hea
  • The Life Pursuit

    • 8 out of 10
    • Belle & Sebastian
    • The Life Pursuit is a sort of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. You get Belle & Sebastian's peanut butter (its wistful, often irresistible pop) dipped in a 'Have A Nice Day!' and glam 70s chocol

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Analysts Don’t See Much Damage to End of HP iPod Deal

Analysts Shaw Wu of American Technology Research and Needham's Charles Wolf on Monday issued research reports that cover the end of Hewlett-Packard's agreement to resell iPods, which happened last Friday. Both reports, copies of which were obtained by The Mac Observer, see little damage to either company from the termination of the deal, but both analysts see some risks over the short term.

Mr. Wu, who believes the deal came to an end when Apple started selling iPods to Radio Shack despite the fact that HP was already doing so, sees Friday's news "as short-term negative for both Apple and HP ... For HP, an MP3 player is now missing in its broad portfolio of offerings and due to its contract, HP cannot compete with Apple until August 2006. Arguably, we estimate the $87 million in quarterly revenue means more to Apple than HP."

He believes HP will offer its own MP3 player as soon as it can and thinks the "de-Carly-fication," as he puts it, of HP was part of the decision: "We believe new CEO Mark Hurd is further putting his stamp on the company." With $3.5 billion spent annually on R&D, Mr. Wu doesn't see HP having difficulty creating its own technology. He continues to maintain a "Hold" rating on Apple's stock and a "Buy" rating on HP shares.

Mr. Wolf characterizes the HP-Apple partnership as that "barely got off the ground. It's impossible to say whose fault it was--Apple's or HP's. HP's strategy to enhance the iPod with brightly colored paper covers was hardly consistent with the company's desired image of an innovative company. And despite the opportunity to sell the iPod abroad in markets Apple could not reach, HP appears to have confined its sales to US retailers."

He did, however, agree with Mr. Wu that the relationship likely soured when Apple began striking deals with retailers, such as Radio Shack, that were already ordering iPods from HP. "In the US, at least, Apple discovered that HP's broader retail presence was redundant," Mr. Wolf writes. "In addition, Apple reportedly did not extend price protection to the iPod's sold by HP. Price protection refers to the practice of compensating retailers for any price reductions on a product held in inventory."

He notes that 25,000 retail outlets now sell the iPod, but "Apple will have to become even more aggressive in signing up retailers abroad if it hopes to fully realize the potential of the iPod." He adds that "HP missed a golden opportunity to capture a material percentage of iPod sales by not rolling out the diminutive device to its retail outlets abroad."

Mr. Wolf sums up the long-term view by writing: "In our opinion, the magnitude of the halo effect represents the major risk in the Apple story. Apple's share price will be negatively impacted if the halo effect proves to be smaller than anticipated." He continues to have a "Buy" rating on Apple's stock, with a 12-month price target of US$52.

At 12:11 PM EST on Monday, Apple's stock was $42.76 per share, up .26% for the day. The company's shares were trading lower earlier in the day, but investors seem to have now shrugged off Friday's news.

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