When is an iPod not an iPod? When it's a Pre of course

When is an iPod not an iPod? When it's a Pre of course

Palm’s announcement that the Pre will sync directly with iTunes has attracted plenty of attention in the last few days. The whole kerfuffle stems from the way the Pre achieves iTunes compatibility. By using Apple’s USB vendor ID and a USB device ID, the Pre is able to trick iTunes into thinking it is in fact an iPod, even being listed as one when connected to iTunes.

But it’s not even that duplicity that is causing all the fuss – it’s the fact that Palm is actively advertising the Pre’s compatibility with iTunes, suggesting to the layperson that the Pre’s iTunes support is sanctioned by Apple. The truth is Apple is likely to be less than impressed a Pre would presume to call itself an iPod and will most likely release an iTunes update to disable the Pre’s media sync ability.

That hasn’t happened with the latest iTunes 8.2 update, with sources reporting that music syncing with the Pre still works, but it’s almost a certainly only a matter of time before Apple releases an update and suddenly Palm are faced with a lot of unhappy customers. Sure, Palm have included some fine print specifying which version of iTunes and which OS X version the Pre’s media sync feature operates on. Although that might cover Palm legally, (might – I’m no lawyer), it definitely won’t cover the bad press and customer backlash they’ll inevitably face once a heavily advertised feature is broken.

After that it’s likely to be Palm and Apple trading update and counter-update, a legal stoush, or both. Makes you wonder if it’s all worth it or whether Palm was looking for a fight anyway. Things could be about to get interesting.

[Daring Fireball]

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  1. igobytony
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    personally, i don’t care if it syncs with iTunes or not. i’d never even use an iPhone for music, unless streaming pandora or something (which is all the music playing i plan to do with a pre when i get it). there just isn’t enough memory, so i’ll always still carry my iPod everywhere.

  2. Posted January 18, 2010 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I always use my iPod nano as well so I don’t need my phone to play mp3s as well. It is a nice addition but if you only listen to music when you working out than a bulky phone is out of the question.

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