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 omnicronx on 5/29/2009 3:10:07 PM , Rating: 1
I think it could be considered anti competitive in this case. Apple DOES hold a large majority of sales in the mp3 market, something ridiculous like 80%. This is not the same as Apple blocking third party hardware from using iTunes as it is a closed piece of software specifically designed for one piece of hardware.

Of course proving this is a completely different manner. Amarok is a free piece of software, its not like they have the resources to take on Apple. Other hacks also still exist, so it would be hard to prove that Apple specifically meant to block this software in the first place. Kind of reminds of bricked unlocked iPhones after an Apple update.

RE: Apple iTunes Monopoly??
By Motoman on 5/29/2009 3:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
You make my head hurt.

Could you please explain how it could possibly, in any universe, be considered anti-competitive for the Apple Synch function to not work with any service other than iTunes, and any device other than iPods?

It is an Apple-specific service, and has never been positioned as otherwise. Apple did not expose this function for others to develop on - what Palm did is essentially a hack. Apple doesn't owe Palm anything...and if any change made to the Synch function causes the Pre to not be able to use that function anymore, whether intentional or inadvertant, Palm has not the slightest cause to complain, since they had no such privelege as to be doing so in the first place.

Not being able to use Synch doesn't preclude you from buying music from iTunes and using it on something other than an iPod.

Is it, in fact, anti-competitive that Windows Update won't work with any OS other than Windows? Is it anti-competitive that Wells Fargo's online banking features won't work with Bank of America accounts? Is it anti-competitive that Facebook won't allow you to update your MySpace account with their interface? Should eBay allow you to use their service to place ads on Craigslist? You know, the MSI motherboard I just bought came with a utility that will automatically download and update the BIOS...but only on an MSI motherboard, not an Asus motherboard. Reckon I should sue MSI for anti-competitive behavior?

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