Apple Blocks Palm Pre's iTunes Compatibility - InformationWeek
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Apple Blocks Palm Pre's iTunes Compatibility

Apple had warned future versions of its software would disable the ability of the Pre to use iTunes to transfer and manage multimedia files.

(click image for larger view)
Palm Pre Smartphone

Apple has dealt a blow to rival Palm by killing the Pre's ability to sync with iTunes for managing multimedia content.

The Pre is Palm's touch-screen device that it is hoping will help it mount a comeback in the smartphone space. The webOS-powered handset has many features expected in a high-end gadget including Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and multimedia playback.

One of the convenient factors of the Pre had been its ability to use iTunes to sync and manage media files; the handset would even appear as an iPod in Apple's multimedia software. With the 8.2.1 version of iTunes, however, Apple has disabled this feature saying the update "addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices."

The move is not unexpected, as Apple warned a few weeks ago that newer versions of iTunes would not provide syncing functionality with non-Apple media players.

"If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience," Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox said in response to Apple's warning. "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 could consider."

The Pre has received mostly positive reviews, and the webOS operating system has been well-received for its ability to aggregate data from various Web services into a finger-friendly interface. The handset has not been as successful as Apple's smartphone though. Analysts estimate Palm sold about 55,000 units during the Pre's launch weekend. By comparison, Apple sold one million iPhone 3GS units during its debut.

Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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