Palm's Cat and Mouse Game With Apple

Spoiler alert! Updating to iTunes 9.0.2 will break your ability to sync media to the Palm Pre. Apple has thwarted those wily webOS programmers at Palm for the third time this year.

palm pre release

Palm has been duping the Apple software into thinking its Pre smartphone is an iPod. One of the selling points to the Pre was how easily existing iTunes users could sync their media files with the device.

Palm and Apple have both traded complaints about each other to the USB Implementers Forum.

According to spokeswoman Lynn Fox, "Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member."

The member Palm accuses is Apple. They claim Apple is misusing the vendor ID number by restricting the actions of iTunes via the USB port.

For its part, Apple cites this line of the rules:

Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited.

The Palm Pre pretends to be an Apple device to communicate with iTunes. In order to do this successfully, Palm's USB interface uses Apple's Vendor Id (not Palm's) when communicating with iTunes.

Let's face it, Apple developed the iTunes software to profit from your multimedia experience. Of course the company is going to frown upon third-party devices such as the iPhone competitor Pre hitching a free ride on its products.