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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 segerstein on 7/16/2009 6:53:40 AM , Rating: -1
If one firm is #1 music retailer (not just in online music shopping), then the firm should take care of interoperability .

That is, to improve interoperability, not to hamper it! But Apple doesn't have any intention of making money with iTunes: it is just a way to squeeze music companies to pass music companies' savings to their overpriced hardware.

It is similar, as if Wal-Mart CDs could be played only in players sold by Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart's market share is lower than that of Apple in music retail business...


By MrBlastman on 7/16/2009 10:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
I agree completely, but, as far as Apple is concerned it is instead...

"Say hello... to my little friend!"


By gereth86 on 7/16/2009 12:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But Apple doesn't have any intention of making money with iTunes: it is just a way to squeeze music companies to pass music companies' savings to their overpriced hardware.


You think Apple doesn't have the intention to make money with iTunes?? Don't they take 30% of every sale on the iTunes store, including both music and apps? I'm pretty sure iTunes is one of their biggest sources of income.

And your Wall-Mart comparison doesn't really make sense. Wall-Mart isn't making the cds or the players, neither are their products. They just are the intermediary between the manufacturers and the consumer. Apple on the other hand is the manufacturer. A better example would be like if Dell monitors only worked with Dell PCs. But really no other company is dumb enough to restrict their merchandise like Apple. I strongly believe that if Apple were supplying their OS to any hardware manufacturers, their OS market share would easily compete with Microsoft's. As of now, their 10% or whatever isn't really in the same league.


By Chudilo on 7/16/2009 12:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
But then they would have to support interoperability with all the hardware, which is a nightmare. One of the reasons their OS is so great is because their platform is basically a PC based console (like Xbox) with a very very restricted set of hardware variations. They don't have to test things on 10,000 different devices. they know the Mobo the CPU, and just about everything else about your system when they develop the OS.


By bupkus on 7/16/2009 5:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
If they were by nature inoperable on other platforms then of course that should not be their responsibility.

But to go out of your way to intentionally break software for a given platform goes back to the day when the joke about Microsoft's approach to their OS development concerning Lotus software was... "It isn't done til' Lotus won't run."


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