Apple has announced plans to possibly lock the Palm Pre out of iTunes. Apple is less than thrilled that its smart phone competitor can use its music software suite.
Palm says Apple will only be hurting customers if it tries to lock the Pre out of iTunes

Several weeks ago it was revealed that Palm's new Pre smart phone was capable of directly syncing with iTunes.  It was widely speculated at the time that Apple might have a problem with Palm interfacing itself to iTunes.

Now Apple has released an iTunes support document that appears to be aimed directly at Palm.  In the document, Apple warns:

Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players.

In other words, Apple is likely planning to try to lock the Palm Pre out of iTunes.  The move is contrary to Palm's expectations.  Last month when Palm investor Roger McNamee was asked whether Apple would try to lock the Pre out of iTunes, he responded, "I don’t think so. They are practically a monopolist and this is what consumers want. Consumers own all this media. I find it hard to believe that Apple will get bent out of shape."

Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox blasted back at Apple saying that if it makes such a move it will be hurting its customers, and she points out that Palm could switch to third party software, which Apple has been unable to lock out of iTunes.  She states, "Palm’s media sync works with the current version of iTunes.  If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider."

It's clear that feathers are ruffled so look for more developments in the future.  Apple has shown itself in the past more than willing to take action to lock out its products from third parties.  And Apple has already warned Palm and others that it may take legal action against them for "mimicking the iPhone" and using multi-touch, for which Apple holds a patent.

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