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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 Motoman on 7/17/2009 10:01:12 AM , Rating: -1
Epic fail.

The governments of the USA and elsewhere have found MS to have a monopoly in the OS market because, for the vast majority of users, you HAVE to use Windows in order to functionally participate in computing. Key word: HAVE. You don't have reasonable choices for the vast majority of users. Mac OSs and Linux are not viable options for the vast majority of users...making MS a single-source, and putting them in a monopoly position.

Apple can not EVER have a monopoly position in the .mp3 market - and neither can anyone else. The reason is that .mp3s are PURE COMMODITIES - meaning that they are completely undifferentiated no matter where they come from. There are practically unlimited sources of .mp3s on the internet, and THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. It makes no difference to the consumer, from a product standpoing (i.e. the .mp3), where the product is purchased.

This is why it's fully impossible for anyone to ever have a monopoly in the .mp3 market. Track down an economist or economics teacher/professor, or even just look it up for yourself.

iTunes has a majority share of the .mp3 market because PEOPLE LIKE IT. The Synch feature may be a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE for Apple...which may help draw customers to their .mp3 service instead of others. But under no circumstances in any universe can they have a monopoly. Period. Done. Further arguments on the topic are not even possible.


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