Print 81 comment(s) - last by themaster08.. on Jul 17 at 6:02 PM

Apple has killed the Palm Pre's ability to sync with iTunes in cold blood, with its latest software update.

Don't install this iTunes update if you own a Palm Pre -- it will kill the phone's ability to easily sync with your library.  (Source: CNET)
Leave it to Apple to rain on everyone's parade

Apple doesn't take kindly to would-be usurpers to its status of the highest tech (and bestselling) smart phone on the market.  It has threatened to take legal action against those who violate its mobile multi-touch patent that it was awarded.

Now it has taken action to try to kill the potential of the Palm Pre before it gains significant market share.  One of the key features of the Pre was its ability to sync effortlessly with iTunes, via firmware support.  As the majority of MP3 players on the market are iPods and most people have their music libraries on iTunes, this was an attractive feature as it made for a painless import of your music library.

However, Apple will not let the threat to its smart phone empire stand and true to its word has rolled out an iTunes update that kills the feature -- iTunes 8.2.1.  The release notes describe, "iTunes 8.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices."

Sure enough, the update kills the Palm Pre's iTunes syncing via the Media Sync option.  Unfortunately for Apple, though, the update can't lock out doubleTwist and The Missing Sync, and other applications which offer similar syncing for smart phones.  Palm is actively advertising these apps as work arounds.

Palm stuck by its previous statement when asked for comment, remarking, "Palm's media sync works with iTunes 8.2. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in 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 can consider."

A simple way for Pre users to keep the good syncing rolling is to not update iTunes.  Those who installed the update can delete iTunes and find an older version online.

Apple has proved merciless in its enforcement efforts in the past.  From suing Mac cloners out of existence to bricking customers' iPhones who left the AT&T network, Apple has done its best to stick it to those buy its hardware but refuse to do its bidding.  In the MP3 player and online music market, however, where Apple enjoys virtual monopolies, one must wonder how much longer it can practice such anticompetitive tactics before its hit with antitrust fines and regulation as Intel and Microsoft have been.

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By inighthawki on 7/15/2009 10:22:31 PM , Rating: 5
Um...monopolistic behavior means abusing market power to hurt consumers by keeping away competition.

and what apple did ISNT hurting consumers/competition? Palm made a device that syncs with iTunes, and naturally that's all good, but Apple SPECIFICALLY rolled out an update to make sure that their devices didn't work. This wasn't one of those accidents or "hey woops, broke some code" it was literally an "if not apple device, dont let sync" feature. They are actively denying competition by destroying compatibility.

By Chaser on 7/16/2009 2:27:21 PM , Rating: 1
And Apple made a product specifically designed to sync with iTunes. They developed it, funded it, and marketed it. Why is blocking a competitor's phone from using it a crime for you Apple lovers?

If the competitor's phone is so amazingly wonderful and faultless as wind drive snow why not let them develop their own sync product for their products instead of using Apple's? The irony is most of you cry babies would be bitching IF Apple forced every product to sync only with iTunes.

For all you genius miserable iPhone owners that scorn the travesty of iTunes and the iPhone; no one forced you to buy an Apple product. No one forced you on AT&T. Go whine somewhere else.

By inighthawki on 7/16/2009 6:49:36 PM , Rating: 3
who said anything about me being an apple lover? i have a rather strong dislike for all of apple's products, including ipods, iphones, itunes, etc. I don't own a palm pre either, but i would like to voice my opinion from the backgrounds to get my thought on the issue, and while i own NONE of the above things, i would like to make it clear that i STILL think this is a very unfair gesture on apple's part, especially when something as silly as including IE with windows is being taken as monopolistic behavior.

Apple is trying to shut out all of its competition, and theyve been doing things like this for a while. Everyone knows that itunes has a very large user database, and people arent going to switch to other syncing software just for the palm pre when they like itunes and the itunes store. While i understand that you feel that apple has all the rights to not include support, its still a step in the wrong direction to purposely REMOVE support.

You need to understand the different between not providing third party support and purposely blocking third party support. Even if apple doesnt support it, it is anti-competative to make an update to purposely break support with third party products.

By Motoman on 7/16/2009 3:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
This is the most colossal fail ever.

The Synch function of iTunes/iPods is what we call "a competitive advantage" - it's a differentiator that consumers can use to decide whethere they want to use Apple products or somebody else's.

A competitive advantage is not illegal. And when a company has a competitive advantage, they aren't obliged to give it to everyone else in the market to "even the playing field" or any such BS. If they did, why would anyone ever innovate anything? If every time you developed a unique feature that differentiated your product from everyone else's you had to just give it to them, why would you bother in the first place?

You people fundamentally do not know what a monopoly is, what a commodity is, and what competitive differentiation is. Please go brush up on Economics 101 and Business 101 and then correct all your mistaken ideas.

By segerstein on 7/17/2009 5:08:27 AM , Rating: 4
OpenOffice's reading of .doc could also be considered an unauthorized hack.
What about reading FAT32? Samba protocols for Windows networking?

iTunes sells more music that Wal-Mart in the US, but should work seamlessly only with iPod and iPhone?

This is abuse of dominant market position, trying to gain advantage in another market by crippling competitors' products. Lotus in MS-DOS?

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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