Hewlett Packard appears to be prepping for an all-out mobile war with Apple, Steve Jobs, the iPad, iPhone and iTunes.
Indeed, after acquiring Palm/WebOS just a few months ago, HP confirmed today that it had snapped up Melodeo.
The company offers a cloud-based service known as NuTsie, which allows users to stream their music collections (including iTunes tracks) to numerous mobile devices, such as Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and the iPhone.
The surprise purchase of Melodeo prompted Motley Fool’s Rick Aristotle Munarriz to speculate that HP was trying to be the next Apple.
“No, HP CEO Mark Hurd isn’t parading about in denim and a black mock turtleneck. But HP’s acquisition this week of Melodeo comes just six months after Apple nibbled in this niche with its purchase of Lala,” wrote Munarriz.
“You don’t find too many companies running into the burning building that digital music has become. Short of Apple’s own success with iTunes, there aren’t too many smiling faces here.”
According to Munarriz, Apple and HP are purchasing small digital music sites because they have “the wingspan to widen the reach” of the upstarts.
“[Still], no matter what HP does with Palm’s bread-and-butter smartphone business, it’s not going to eat at iPhone the way that Google’s open Android mobile operating system has in recent months,” he conceded.
“However, HP isn’t spending 10 figures on Palm – and substantially less on Melodeo – for kicks. HP wants to stand out with unique operating systems and entertainment services. When HP grows up, it really, really, really wants to be Apple.”