Apple and HP partner - expect HP branded iPods (as well as iTunes installed in HP machines) in the future. Very strange. I think this is a huge mistake.
I can very clearly see the (huge) downside of this for Apple - a massive hit on their brand equity. If I was an iPod owner, I'd not be too happy about an HP version of one - it just subtracts massive cool points.
What I can't really see is a big upside for Apple. Achieving higher penetration of iTunes is not exactly a key tactical outcome they must achieve. It's already the market leader by a huge margin - so far, it's a textbook case of a first-mover advantage supported by a move down the experience curve.
While Apple obviously wants to stop Windows Media from becoming the standard - to stop MS from Netscaping it in digital media effectively - I don't thinkn it has a prayer of realistically doing so. I think Apple will own the production/creation end of things (like it has), and Windows will own the consumption end of things (like it has).
Not to mention the fact that "analysts expressed astonishment and approval" at the deal, which is never a good sign.