Print 30 comment(s) - last by Mojo the Monke.. on Jun 3 at 1:59 PM

The Palm Pre will be the first non-Apple phone to feature firmware-supported syncing with iTunes. The great mystery is whether Apple will try to sue Palm to block this feature.  (Source: Apple 2.0)
New smart phone will be first non-Apple phone to sync nicely with iTunes, but will Apple ruin the party?

For iPod users on the fence over whether to jump on the iPhone bandwagon or try the new Palm Pre, the iPhone's first multi-touch competitor, they may just have gotten a bit of an incentive to choose the latter.  It has been revealed that the Palm Pre will sync perfectly with iTunes, allowing customers with iPods to transfer their music files without hassle or third-party utilities.

The surprise scoop was discovered and confirmed by the many reviewers who received and have been testing early Pre handsets.  However, the news actually leaked in January from a Palm employee -- but no one followed up, as it was likely dismissed as a wild rumor.

ITunes treats the Pre just like an iPod or iPhone, except it can't get iPhone apps and it can't use old copy-protected songs (Apple recently dropped copy protection).  Previously, users could sync iTunes with smart phones like the Palm Treo and 700p, but only via a third-party application.  This time the phone's firmware comes sync-ready.

Palm is full of ex-Apple engineers, including Palm president Jon Rubinstein, who built the original iPod for Steve Jobs so this bit of news is not totally surprising.

The one uncertainty is whether Apple will block Palm's encroachment on its iTunes software.  Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has hinted in the past that Apple may seek legal action against Palm for possible violations of its mobile devices multi-touch patent.  Palm, however, has expressed little concern over lawsuits from Apple.  It is confident that it will win any such battles, and that Apple will lose in negative publicity as well.

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RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By Inkjammer on 5/29/2009 12:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
Much for the same reason Apple can away with creating commercials that tear down Microsoft. Apple's not #1, and people really only focus in on the majority leader. It's like Microsoft getting in trouble for including IE8 with Windows 7 by the EU, yet nobody cares if Apple includes Safari. When you're the big dog people hold you to different standards. Granted, Apple is the big dog in the music industry right now, but when people discuss Apple, they're viewed as a "computer" company verse an "entertainment" company.

Apple's not immune, they're just too small in the scheme of things for people to care (even if Apple's stock prices are six times more valuable than Microsoft's).

RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By Motoman on 5/29/2009 12:40:06 PM , Rating: 3
(even if Apple's stock prices are six times more valuable than Microsoft's).

...surely you are aware that a stock price is, in and of itself, a worthless piece of information? Only the market capitalization is an important number, which is effectively share price * number of outstanding shares. Hence, Microsoft's market value is immensely larger than Apple's.

RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By Mojo the Monkey on 5/29/2009 12:44:45 PM , Rating: 3
unfortunately in a demand and hope based market pricing model, the stock price disconnects from the market value and you get what we have today... a vegas-style betting system.

RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By biggsjm on 5/29/2009 2:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Um, Apple's market cap is 120B and Microsoft's is 180B. Not "immensely larger" as you described.

As for an iTunes Monopoly? First you must define the market, then define Apple's control of that market, and then, even if they have a monopoly, you must determine if that monopoly is criminally anti-competitive.

I'd wager that its not. The Linux aspect could be argued, but its a weak argument. Choosing not to support a market isn't really a great way to argue that they are using their monopoly in anti-competitive ways. As for the device syncing . . .as long as Apple doesn't restrict the video and music from being used with other players (note that DRM isn't apple's restriction, its the copyright holders') I don't see how you could make that case. Apple's not preventing some third party to come in and utilize drm-free music or other content stored on the machine.

It sucks, I know, but they walk the line very well.

RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By Motoman on 5/29/2009 2:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, I didn't realize you had so much money as to not think of $60 billion as an "immense" amount.

Anyway, your wager that Apple's iTunes is not a monopoly is a pretty safe one. With the standardization of the .mp3 format, it would pretty much be impossible for anyone to gain a monopoly position anyway.

RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By smackababy on 5/29/2009 3:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
First, your numbers suggest that Apple is two thirds that of MS. That is immensely larger, at least by my definition.

Secondly, as for as marketshare, iTunes more than likely dominates. And the DRM is in Apple's control. They can chose to not have it, and the labels wouldn't be able to fight. Either they let iTunes sell their music in the millions, or they lose sales. Simple as that. Plus, I know the old iTunes DRM didn't allow any other player or application to use it. I had to burn ablums I purchased to a CD then rip them just to be able to stream them to my Xbox. I would be so bold as to call Apple anti-competitive.

By Mojo the Monkey on 6/3/2009 1:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing it completely.

Apple has ~892 million shares at that price. (.892 billion)

Microsoft has 8.9 BILLION shares at that price.

Go do the math. Share price does not equal how "large" a company is. You have to look at how many shares are floating around.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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