Apple CEO Steve Jobs initiated the HP/Apple deal that lets HP offer digital music products and services to its customers.
The LA Times (registration required) reports that while HP's own efforts to design a music player were unsucessful, Jobs contacted HP CEO Carly Fiorina to urge her to consider making use of Apple technology.
"Why go with an inferior product and an inferior music store?" Jobs asked.
The two companies commenced negotiation in December, with Jobs and Fiorina delegating the detail to HP's vice-president of marketing for consumer PCs (and iPod-owner) Tom Anderson, and Apple's vice president for worldwide operations, Tim Cook. The deal was nailed down just days before the event.
The report adds that HP's move to use technology from another firm is not unprecedented, HP's laser printers and digital cameras are made by others under an OEM agreement.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said the only hurdle Jobs may have faced in the move would have risen from the fear of "alienating" many in the Mac community who mistrust Microsoft.
Describing the Windows world as focused on "expedient profits", Wozniak said: "Bringing the expediency of iPods to the Windows world benefits both PC users and Apple."