Apple breaks iTunes-Pre compatibility, to the surprise of nobody

Hey, remember when the Palm Pre came out a couple months ago and it turned out that when you plugged it into your computer iTunes thought that it was an iPod? And how Apple basically responded by saying, hmm, just FYI, we can turn off this compatibility whenever we want? Well, they finally got around to it, leaving Palm Pre users the choice of either never updating iTunes again or using slightly more irritating methods to sync their media.

While I can see why Palm would tweak its device to work this way, I am kind of shocked that they went so far as to promote it as a feature, as surely they would know the only way it would end -- after all, most of the Palm execs are ex-Apple hands who know how the culture works. Of course they're casting the blame on Apple -- "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," said Palm spokesman Lynn Fox -- but apparently in the Palm forums on the subject people aren't necessarily buying it, with one user saying "You can't really expect to use another companies [sic] software through a hack like this. Passing it along to users as a 'feature' is pretty shady."

If you're prone to seeing conspiracy theories, Palm might have been hoping to provoke precisely this response, so that they could use it as evidence that Apple's iPod/iPhone/iTunes ecosystem is a monopoly that needs to be regulated or broken up. While you do hear this cry now and again, the truth is that any such legal remedy will take far too long to play out for Palm to have any hope of benefitting from it in the short term -- and for the company to survive, the Pre needs to do pretty well in the short term.

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