Apple (Rightly) Stops Palm Pre iTunes Syncing

NoPreSyncThe latest release of iTunes (8.2.1) puts an end to the Palm Pre’s syncing with iTunes. Some have expressed surprise, but it was an obvious and proper move on Apple’s part.

I wrote about this issue on two separate occasions, and believed it was clear that Apple needed to address the exposure Palm was taking advantage of.

In the first article I pointed out that:

it has everything to do with denying Palm a seat at the table to which they’re not entitled. Let the Pre use the old iTunes API, if possible, as others have, but not appear as an iPod. I don’t see why Apple should stand idly by while a third party walks in and acts as an equal member of the iPod/iTunes system.

In the second article I mentioned another reason for which I felt Apple should take action:

In other words, forget the Pre, or even Palm. There’s an exposure for iTunes here that could have BlackBerrys, LGs, Nokias, etc. all passing themselves off as iPods. Again, the obvious question to me is that, having learned there’s this hole in iTunes, Apple should take steps to close it.

In both articles I said there would be many who complain about it if Apple put an end to this, and that’s already begun. But the reality is Apple didn’t build the iPod/iTunes environment for others to trick their way into using. Apple isn’t putting a stop to seamless syncing, Palm and other manufacturers are free to write that functionality for their own devices, just as Apple wrote it for their own. Or Palm could team up with a third-party to distribute something “official” (current Pre users may want to consider these solutions).

Just because Apple has a huge head start (it’s called foresight and vision) doesn’t mean potential competitiors get to use their work for free. The whole point of competition is to build something better, not trick your way into offering someone else’s work.

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