Apple May End Palm Pre's iTunes Sync
The Palm Pre touch-screen smartphone that debuted earlier this month
had been widely touted to be a strong Apple iPhone contender. However,
the Pre's ability to automatically sync up with Apple's iTunes digital
media player may not last for long. On Tuesday Apple posted a notice on
its Website that unsupported third-party digital media players are not
guaranteed everlasting synchronicity with the popular media player.
Apple's post states the company designs the hardware and software to
provide integration of the iPhone and iPod with iTunes, the iTunes
Store and tens of thousands of apps on the App Store. "Apple is aware
that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able
to sync with Apple software," the company posted. "However, Apple does
not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple
digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer
versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing
functionality with non-Apple digital media players."
What this means is that Apple could be sending a message to Pre (or
other third party) owners that the ability to seamlessly sync up with
iTunes could soon become a distant memory. Apple has made these sorts
of statements before, issuing a warning in September 2007 to those who
had "jailbroken" or unlocked their iPhones. The advisory, which noted
future firmware updates to the iPhone could render unlocked iPhone
inoperable, became a reality a week later with iPhone Update 1.1.1.
According to Apple specialist TechSuperpowers' president and founder
Michael Oh, Apple is likely to do what it did in September 2007. "From
Apple's standpoint, chances are they will put out an update; this
announcement is obviously meant to soak up any backlash from Pre
owners," he said. "Apple's not going to use this as a way to turn
around their stance on third-party devices--it would be a dangerous
game to play with the Palm in particular."
Oh said Apple's considerable stable of talented engineers is going to figure out soon (if they haven't already) how Palm has been able to sync up with iTunes directly. "Apple has shown in the past year or two they're moving toward this "iTunes Plus" model where you buy MP3s and not AAC files-that's been their concession to those who have criticized Apple's proprietary dependency," he said. "That continues to be their stance, so I don't really see their changing their view because the Palm Pre has come out."