HP Is The Big Loser With The Apple/Beats Acquisition ... But Not Until 2015

Yes, Apple confirmed that it’s buying Beats for $US3 billion. The deal is part tech land grab (for Beats audio and its subscription service) and part acquihire, Tim Cook revealed on stage at the Re/code conference on Wednesday.

But there’s one little thing that Cook didn’t mention. This deal also lets Apple put the squeeze on one of its major rivals, one of the world’s biggest makers of Windows PCs, Hewlett-Packard.

Beats is one of HP’s partners and its music tech is included in about 15 to 20 per cent of devices sold by HP today, a spokesperson told CNET’s Marguerite Reardon and Shara Tibken.

The HP/Beats deal will hold firm through 2015, the HP spokesperson confirmed to CNET. And the PC maker is planning to market a whole bunch of new HP PCs integrated with Beats Audio and headsets through 2014.

But that does put HP between a rock and hard place. If it advertises how wonderful Beats is in these new devices, it will be helping Apple persuade consumers that Beats-infused products are the best music experience.

We’ll see how HP will handle that. In the meantime, music lovers wanting a new Windows PC have months or more to get one from HP.

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