Apple Does As Many Expected: Kills Palm Pre iTunes Syncing

from the iPetty dept

The pettiness of Apple continues… Last month, Apple warned potential buyers of the Palm Pre that it might break that phone’s ability to sync with iTunes. It didn’t take long for Apple to follow through. In an upgrade to iTunes, which Apple claims was for “bug fix” but also to handle “verification” issues, it has blocked the Palm Pre from accessing iTunes. This is pure petty behavior on the part of Apple. When the original statement was made, some assumed that Apple was really just saying that it couldn’t be responsible if an update broke the syncing, not that it would purposely break that ability. But Apple’s comments suggest they cut off the Pre on purpose, noting that it wanted to stop devices that “falsely pretend” to be iPods or iPhones.

The Palm Pre is a nice phone according to many people, but it’s not making any serious dent in iPhone sales. Blocking it out of iTunes is just silly. I don’t have a Palm Pre or an iPhone… but I do use iTunes. But now that I know Apple is breaking software and removing features, I guess it’s time to look elsewhere. How’s Songbird these days? Other suggestions?

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Companies: apple, palm

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Comments on “Apple Does As Many Expected: Kills Palm Pre iTunes Syncing”

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123 Comments
Steve R. (profile) says:

Excessive Reach????

How far can a company reach to disable a product? This incident seems to have crossed a line. While one can argue that it is Apple’s prerogative, with a free service, to say who has the right to access that service; it seems a slippery slope that should not be entered.

Not only that, but if you are a conspiracy type, the Sony Rootkit debacle may leave you wondering what sort of things Apple may really be doing to your Palm Pre.

I guess the PR staff of both Microsoft and Apple must have degrees in English to Orwell’s Newspeak University. “The free update, called ITunes 8.2.1, provides “important” bug fixes to the software”

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Excessive Reach????

“How far can a company reach to disable a product? This incident seems to have crossed a line. While one can argue that it is Apple’s prerogative, with a free service, to say who has the right to access that service; it seems a slippery slope that should not be entered”

It’s not a slipper slope, iTunes is Apple’s, end of story. I will agree that it’s incredibly STUPID, but the only line they’re crossing is with regard to consumer inclusion. They see the Palm Pre as a threat to the iPhone rather than another device to load music purchased from iTunes (I’m not a huge iTunes user, but the syncing ability has to have SOME effect on usership, no?).

“Not only that, but if you are a conspiracy type, the Sony Rootkit debacle may leave you wondering what sort of things Apple may really be doing to your Palm Pre.”

Now that I can get into. I’m more technical on security appliaces and less on app/dev and coding, so my question is HOW do they block the sync? Do they block it on the iTunes side or the Palm Pre side? Are the putting something on the phone to achieve the block of the sync? Again, I may be displaying my ignorance here, but I’d be interested to hear how that shit works.

“I guess the PR staff of both Microsoft and Apple must have degrees in English to Orwell’s Newspeak University. “The free update, called ITunes 8.2.1, provides “important” bug fixes to the software””

I’m not certain, but I’d bet that the iPhone has a separate PR staff/division from iTunes, because from iTunes perspective, this is a terrible move.

Brad Hubbard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Excessive Reach????

@DarkHelmet “It’s not a slipper slope, iTunes is Apple’s, end of story.”

By that logic, Windows is Microsofts, and if they want to prevent you from installing Firefox, they can. Or iTunes, for that matter.

The point is this is a dominant player in a market abusing that position to harm a competitor (or more specifically, a competitor’s customers). And why? To make that product / company less appealing to consumers.

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Excessive Reach????

Comparing iTunes to Windows is a bit of a stretch. Sorta like comparing your car radio to General Motors.

The whole OS is vastly different than a single program running on it.

Likewise there are other mp3 players out there, all of which are readily available. Switching is simply a matter of steps. note, DRM’d tracks are not an issue as many services do that and more and more DRM isn’t being used anyway. Compared with switching your entire OS, switching mp3 players and music software is trivial.

That said, it’s incredibly stupid for Apple, but there’s no law requiring smart business practices…

Sean (user link) says:

Re: Excessive Reach????

You’re trying to parallel a rootkit on CDs that was installed unknowingly on the purchaser’s computer and allowed for backdoor entry to the computer…to Apple not allowing their software to work with their competition? Just to be clear on that…

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person on the Internet with a clue.

And then you’ve got Mike here saying Apple is ‘breaking software’ and ‘removing features’ because they don’t want the competition leap-frogging on their install base.

Poor show by both commenter and author in this instance…

dorp says:

Re: Re: Excessive Reach????

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person on the Internet with a clue.

Nah, you are not. Mostly because you don’t have a clue.

And then you’ve got Mike here saying Apple is ‘breaking software’ and ‘removing features’ because they don’t want the competition leap-frogging on their install base.

Whether Apple wanted it or not, iTunes had a feature that allowed Pre to be synced with it. It did not diminish the functionality of the iTunes and allowed its users to do more things. Now that feature is gone, “removed,” as one could say. Now run along, get a clue.

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Excessive Reach????

Apple had no such ‘feature’.

A more accurate comparison is that I had a store that only allowed people with nametags saying ‘George’ to enter. Nothing stopped people from writing their own nametag to say ‘George’ and so they entered.

Seeing people using the store that I did not intend, I decided to make sure the nametag matched their drivers license. now only ‘actual’ George’s can come in.

Again, it’s a dumb business decision by my (and Mike’s) opinion, but they are fully within their rights as to who gets to use the software and in what fashion.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Excessive Reach????

True, but you haven’t addressed how Apple will “disable” the to sync with iTunes. Will it be a program that senses that the product is a Palm Pre and then terminates the connection OR will it be a program that modifies the Palm Pre operating system to reject a connection to Apples iTunes. I don’t know which approach Apple has taken. Do you?

Designerfx (profile) says:

they're just bitching

apple can’t stop the pre if the pre folks truly get determined. Example: itunes apps on android.

Maybe soon people will realize that apple is a straight up crap company that has been shoveling turds on a plate for years. They stand for neither quality nor competitiveness. all they have is an iphone with horribly locked exclusivity that people are dumb enough to yuck up.

The days of apple being the predominant “movie quality” os/software/etc are long gone.

You could pay $3000 for an apple. Or pay $1200 as a bundle. Or pay $900 and build it yourself. etc.

Pangolin (profile) says:

Itunes and candy

Is Itunes the only game in town for the PRE? Why do people WANT to use Itunes with the PRE? To get their music on their device.

Wait – it’s not their music. Or is it…

Now from the other side of the aisle –

I own a vending machine line. I sell them. I also own the candy that fits only in my vending machine. Someone makes another machine that can use my candy – while I still sell the Candy, I lose sales of vending machines. I don’t want to LOOSE ANY MONEY.

Another article here pointed out that when a competitor loses – you win. This is a WIN for Apple not a loss. If you want to use itunes – get an ipod.

If you want to eat my candy – buy my machine.

Beat me now.

BullJustin (profile) says:

Re: Itunes and candy

Or you could realize that people putting vending machines in places you don’t have the time or reach to service still allows you to sell them candy, and you still make money. In fact, this is basically what franchising is. Your candy line would make a lot more money if you had fiscally driven independents out there trying to make themselves more money by putting out more machines and thus ordering more of your candy.

If iTunes makes money on the music downloads, why wouldn’t they want to let any and every device use it?! This anticompetitive behavior really only hurts them.

Brooks (profile) says:

Um

Apple makes very little money from iTunes itself, except the app store. Most of the revenue from music goes to labels; iTunes exists to sell iPods and iPhones.

Apple has both an interest in and a right to protect that closed ecosystem. Within certain parameters, Palm and other have a right to try to hook into that system so they don’t have to develop it themselves.

This is a basic competitive question, playing out in the technical sphere. You can argue the business intelligence of one side or the other, but calling it “petty” is missing the point, and going off on paranoid tangents about what Apple *might* be doing that *could* be similar to what *someone else* did on a *different platform* under *different circumstances* is, well, just silly.

As a developer, I assure you it is a whole lot easier for Apple to simple tweak the iTunes USB/iPod interface to check for an Apple device than it would be to write some kind of weird Pre rootkit and, well, whatever the tinfoil hat “and” would be.

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Breaking a product?

Apple didn’t break the Pre, it “fixed” iTunes. If you look at the big picture, what’s the difference between that and the Zune Store or Windows Media Player not syncing with the iPod or iPhone? Yes, Apple is being pissy… if they could see past the end of Steve Jobs’ nose, they would recognize that allowing non-Apple devices to sync with iTunes simply broadens the market for their now-DRM-free music.

Unless maybe there is a deeper, unspoken reason, like the “always caring” music labels insisting that, in exchane for Apple stripping off the DRM, ONLY Apple devices can have access to it. We all know how “user friendly” the music labels and the RIAA are!

JAy. says:

Re: Breaking a product?

The issue with WMP not syncing with iPod’s is actually on Apple also. Apple requires a special API to allow a computer to interface with an iPod. If you want to write software to interface with an iPod, you are supposed to pay Apple for the API (although a few people have brokent this without making the royalty payment).

Anonymous Coward says:

“Hi, I’m a PC!”
“Hi, I’m a Mac!”
“We are both money grubbing assholes!”
“But only one of us is hypocritical about it!”

Imagine a world where nothing but Microsoft products work on windows… Pretty crappy eh?
Now imagine a world where nothing but Apple products work with Apple software… Ohh wait, you don’t have to imagine anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They’re both guilty.

For example, I’m still waiting for MS to add Access and Outlook on Mac. Microsoft’s Email client (Entourage) doesn’t support Microsoft’s own proprietary PST file format, and the PST convert utility from Microsoft.com only works with the previous version of Entourage, Entorage 2004. Thankfully, there’s O2M which converts PSTs to Unix MBOX format. But, PST is *your* damed file format.

Being locked out of Windows Media sucks. I bought a few DRM’ed music I bought from Zune Marketplace back in the day. Ideally, it would be nice to adhere to either 1) have WMP for Mac or 2) adopt open standards and not have DRM.

Go figure.

Ryan Z says:

I disagree with Apple’s move because it is completely at odds with consumer benefit; they are doing this as an attempt to help themselves at the expense of all iTunes users, which is precisely why I think it is a bad move. By purposely making iTunes worse for no apparent gain in user utility, Apple is merely encouraging other media apps to take its market share until iTunes is no longer ubiquitous.

Brooks (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You realize that Apple is about profit first, consumer benefit second. If they found that they were losing money from Pre users (since profit from music sales is near zero, and some percentage of current and future Pre purchasers will now buy iPods/iPhones), why wouldn’t they take this move?

See, this is where the whole “economics of free” argument breaks down. Apple makes money from hardware sales, not iTunes. Sure, they’ll lose some non-paying users. Why would they care?

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Re:

Every business is, and rightfully so, about profit first, consumer benefit second. However, the two go hand-in-hand. Pursuing a temporary gain in profit at the expense of consumer satisfaction is often going to hurt your profit in the long run.

You see it that a consumer who would have otherwise purchased a Pre will instead buy an iPod because the former is not compatible with iTunes; I see it the other way. I can’t imagine that very many people are going to put the mp3 application ahead of the device; the latter is a much larger investment and less interchangeable with competition than the former. Far more consumers will use a different media application with their Pre because iTunes is not compatible. Eventually, iTunes will lose a lot of market share because Apple simply decided to make it worse. Then it probably loses some of its perception as the standard for mp3 players.

I’m not quite sure what your contention is with the “economics of free” here, or how it applies. iTunes is used to enhance the value of iPods, but the value of other media devices is also enhanced by other media applications. If Apple wants to close itself off, I think it just hurts itself…

Anonymous Coward says:

Songbird does it.
Winamp does it.
Foobar does it.

it=syncing with just about any media device including ipod/iphone while at the same time not acting like the most bloated media player to ever grace a man’s RAM (iTunes).

I’m also pretty sure ever major linux media player has kinked out its universal syncing issues long, long ago.

But seriously, winamp is the way to go– it looks better, it’s completely configurable, loaded with features (easy to use ones too), and nowhere near half the bloat.

Anonymous Coward says:

You fail to notice that Palm’s iTunes implementation was a violation of the USB spec. The Pre was able to masquerade as an ipod by changing its USB vendor ID from Palm’s to Apple’s. Without even looking at the update, I can tell you that all Apple did was tell iTunes to look at both USB ID codes, including the one that’s in firmware and can’t be changed at the flick of a switch. Palm used an ugly hack to achieve what they could have done with a simple piece of software that reads the (unencrypted) itunes library xml file or directly reads the actual (unencrypted and open) music library.

Freedom says:

Re: Re:

>> You fail to notice that Palm’s iTunes implementation was a violation of the USB spec

Technically the user is violating the spec. When you plug in the Pre it asks you what type of device to sync as. The user selects to simulate an iPod. Palm may have made the gun, but the user pulls the trigger to violate the spec.

While Mike MIGHT be right that the Pre hasn’t yet made a dent it is a huge threat or why bother with doing this? I think the Pre has made a major dent and unlike Microsoft, Palm has put out some extremely effective ads (why Microsoft can’t do this, I just don’t get it!). Will Palm end up being a real threat, I don’t know, but I do know that allowing Palm to do this without fighting back opens up Pandora’s box.

Freedom

Kelly O says:

I agree. I bought a Pre and left apple long before them giving me any more reasons than I already have. iTunes is the junkiest software anyways. It wouldn’t even burn to my cdrom when I was using it because it didn’t have a driver. Gay.

Fix it, don’t fix it. Who cares. If you want to use crappy software so others will think you are cool and in the hip crowd be my guest.

James T. says:

You stupid, stupid man. I suppose if I broke into your house and started renting rooms out to other people that would be ok with you? Because that’s what the criminals at Palm were effectively doing. Just because you’re too stupid and lazy to come up with something like the iPhone yourself, don’t blame the innovators at Apple for making great products. That’s the Microsoft way. And now, sadly, it’s also the Palm way.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You stupid, stupid man.

Always a sure sign of someone who has something intelligent to say. You start off by flat out insulting the person you are talking to.

I suppose if I broke into your house and started renting rooms out to other people that would be ok with you?

Let’s see… one is about breaking into someone’s physical property and limiting the access of their scarce property by invading their privacy.

The other is about making a software program more useful.

I’m afraid I don’t see how they’re related at all.

Just because you’re too stupid and lazy to come up with something like the iPhone yourself, don’t blame the innovators at Apple for making great products.

I’m not blaming Apple for making great products. I’m pointing out what a bad idea it is for them to make one of their products a lot less useful. I thought that was sorta obvious.

But I’m the stupid one…

Anonymous Coward says:

Think of it this way:
Palm snags an Apple Exec, and this exec thinks they can just “borrow” things from Apple. If Palm wants to play, they should pay the admission fee instead of hopping the fence.

At the same time, there are people who run blogs buy Pres. Sometimes this is purchase is done under duress, but most often because the phone matches the handbag bought from Zappos.

I feel the worst for them, especially because Zappos is offering free shipping for a limited time.

Mike says:

Re: Re:

I had the same problem finding a phone that would match my Moschino handbag.

I got a great deal on an annual Handbag Rental Contract at “Bag-Borrow-Or-Steal” and my iPhone just didn’t match the handbag. Way too passe.

But I found the Pre and just fell in love with it. With the money I saved by switching to Sprint, I was able to afford to get the upgraded Bubble Ruffle Shoulder handbag.

It’s delish.

I also work on cars.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

>> I had the same problem finding a phone that would match my Moschino handbag.

You know, I’m having the same problem. And by switching to sprint, I can save over $400 a year, which could be a real nice handbag!

How does that handbag rental business work? I’ve seen their site, but have been reluctant to sign up. Is it easy? How is the service? What do they do when the lipstick melts, mike?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

>>Is it easy? How is the service? What do they do when the lipstick melts, mike?

Great question! Lipstick is always a mess, but I can one-up that! You see, my wife is finishing her doctorate in pre-natal care, and one afternoon she stopped by for lunch. I own an Automotive Garage (And yes, I work on cars. It’s not funny! Don’t laugh.) and told the guys to hold the fort down. So we had lunch. When I came back, I realized my Juicy Couture bag had fallen off the tool box and into a pan of transmission fluid from an earlier customer. Tohme sometimes doesn’t clean up. He’s a little lost at times so we’ve started to call him Tohme “Valdez”. Ha ha!

Anyways, I ended up taking it to the cleaners and they were able to fix most of it, but I had to pay a fee because it obviously was damaged when the lease was up, and it always smelled a little like Transmission fluid from then on. We decided after that to get an insurance plan from our home insurer just in case it gets stolen or it happens again!

If you own a dirty automotive garage like I do or have Juan, you should get some extra insurance “just in case”. Otherwise, normal wear is just fine.

Barta says:

...?

“I don’t have a Palm Pre or an iPhone… but I do use iTunes. But now that I know Apple is breaking software and removing features, I guess it’s time to look elsewhere. How’s Songbird these days? Other suggestions?”

First off this quote makes you sound like a pouting 12 year old. “I dont have the product that they’re denying access to, but just because they are, even though it affects me in no way, I’m going to complain…” Riiiight.

Secondly, they’re breaking software because it’s bad for business. The fact that the Pre is profiting off the use of Apple’s FREE software is retarded. Apple doesn’t make a dime off just the software itself, it relies on iTunes store and it’s flagship products that connect with iTunes (iPhone, iPods, etc).

James T above explained it well… “I suppose if I broke into your house and started renting rooms out to other people that would be ok with you? Because that’s what the criminals at Palm were effectively doing.”

Palm needs to spend THEIR money and THEIR time to develop software that works well, or GTFO imo.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: ...?

First off this quote makes you sound like a pouting 12 year old. “I dont have the product that they’re denying access to, but just because they are, even though it affects me in no way, I’m going to complain…” Riiiight.

Not complain. But express why I believe it’s a bad move. It harms me as a consumer. It limits my choices for no reason other than they don’t like it. That’s not a company I would like to support. You may like supporting companies that arbitrarily disable features on products. I do not.

Secondly, they’re breaking software because it’s bad for business.

How so? (1) This makes me LESS LIKELY to buy any Apple product. I would argue that’s much worse for business. (2) This makes me MORE LIKELY to buy from competitors.

Yes, Apple makes most of its money from the hardware sales, but because of this I’m less likely to buy its hardware as well, knowing what a petty company it is, who will purposely stop consumers from doing what they want.

Palm needs to spend THEIR money and THEIR time to develop software that works well, or GTFO imo.

Fair enough. Clearly then, you would never read a blog without paying for it, right? Since you didn’t spend YOUR MONEY and YOUR TIME to develop it.

Oh wait…

Barta (user link) says:

Re: Re: ...?

“Not complain. But express why I believe it’s a bad move. It harms me as a consumer.”

But you’re not a consumer… You don’t own either and if the Pre cannot sync with iTunes it makes you think twice about purchasing it. It’s a good move on Apple’s part and it was stupid of Palm to promise using another companies software like it was it’s own.

“I’m less likely to buy its hardware as well, knowing what a petty company it is”

Not to sound like an Apple fanboy, but I believe Apple does mp3 players & smart phones the best. I’ve tried other phones including the Pre, and G1, but I don’t think they’re as handy as the iPhone. So when I purchase an iPod or iPhone it’s because I believe it’s the best at what it does, regardless of Apple being “petty”.

“Clearly then, you would never read a blog without paying for it, right? Since you didn’t spend YOUR MONEY and YOUR TIME to develop it.”

I do pay for reading Techdirt… I have to read articles you write don’t I? =P

Apple wrote iTunes as a free software so everyone could use it, but the ability to sync with a mobile device (mp3 players & phones) is a perk of owning the Apple products. Just like you created Techdirt so people could read it, but if you created a section of the site that was for paying members only and someone came along that allow this extra feature to everyone regardless of membership, it would piss off your paying members wouldn’t it?

tim says:

Re: ...?

oh my god, how dense can you get? I suppose you would also think its fine for microsoft to add a few little lines of code into the windows core to prevent other browsers from working with their os? After all, it’s Microsoft’s investment and innovation that created this whole ‘windows’ thing that every one else is leeching off. If other companies want to write programs for it, they should either pay microsoft a fee for the privilege, or GTFO, right?

Just think about what you have said for a minute, even just a little bit. Lets break it down.
1 – you claim apples income is from itunes store, and hardware. ok, no problem.
2 – someone has already bought a Pre. ok, so they wont be buying apple hardware, thats one income stream gone with that consumer.
3 – they get blocked from itunes, and the itunes store. wait…didnt they just intentionally remove their other option for making money off people? its a ridiculously bad call to make.

As you say, the software is free, so apple isnt losing any money by letting pre user’s sync with it, but by blocking them they are cutting potential itunes store sales.

And Mike, I use media monkey, it is lightyears ahead of itunes, and is also has a nice small footprint on system resources.

Barta (user link) says:

Re: Re: ...?

“I suppose you would also think its fine for microsoft to add a few little lines of code into the windows core to prevent other browsers from working with their os?”

First, this statement tells me you have no idea how software works or is written. Second, that would violate anti-trust laws. Third, Apple isn’t holding the only feasible solution over your head. You can use MediaMonkey or various other solutions.

“they get blocked from itunes, and the itunes store. wait…didnt they just intentionally remove their other option for making money off people?”

They don’t get blocked from the iTunes store. You can download from the iTunes store and use the mp3s in any other player you want. The iTunes store is a stand alone entity for easily purchasing music.

MargeB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: ...?

” You can download from the iTunes store and use the mp3s in any other player you want.”

But I can’t sync any other player with iTunes. How does it hurt their business model to convert non-customers (Pre, other mp3 players or phones) into PAYING iTunes customers? Yes iTunes itself is free, but they sell stuff on it, don’t they? Those Palm pre users might have bought stuff from iTunes, and might have switched to Apple products at some point. That is unlikely now, they probably just feel pissed off at Apple.

Also, Mike didn’t say he didn’t have an iPod, he just doesn’t have an iPhone or Pre!

Phoenix says:

Dudes, you're not cool enough

You guys are all whining because you just aren’t cool enough to run with the Apple crowd. You’re all the pudgy PC guy. Drown your sorrows in some more fast-food.

Seriously, Apple has a business model. It is called ‘closed’. That should not be a surprise to anyone. If you don’t like it, buy a Palm Pre or an Android phone and go hang out with the other uncool kids. We’ll be here with our iPhones making fun of you.

But take heart. 1.5B downloads from the app store. That might send a message to Apple that open can be cool. However, it won’t ever be open enough to let the uncool kids in. Especially the Android geeks.

Gabriel says:

Do any of you realize how difficult it is so support and sustain a technological ecosystem? Why should Apple be expected to provide support for a direct competitor? And if they did so, wouldn’t they suddenly come under antitrust scrutiny? (“Oh look, they’re allowing Palm Pre to sync with iTunes – there must be an under-the-table deal!”)

If the Pre wasn’t falsely pretending to be an iPod, this wouldn’t be an issue. Why can’t the Pre folks just sync with the iTunes music directly from the hard drive? Why do they need to go through iTunes at all?

Barta (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“antitrust behavior is more about locking competitors out, like Apple is doing.”

Anti-trust is about closing out competitors to where they cannot even compete in the same market. Apple is locking down their software so competitors cannot use it. If they were making it so that it was incredibly hard for competitors to design their own software for syncing that would be anti-trust. Palm has all the rights in the world to design their own software.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Do any of you realize how difficult it is so support and sustain a technological ecosystem? Why should Apple be expected to provide support for a direct competitor? And if they did so, wouldn’t they suddenly come under antitrust scrutiny? (“Oh look, they’re allowing Palm Pre to sync with iTunes – there must be an under-the-table deal!”)

No one said they have to specifically support the Palm Pre. Not at all. But they purposely *broke* syncing here.

And, uh, NO ONE thought they had an under-the-table deal so that claim makes no sense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

this is a blatant anti-trust violation apple is using its superior position in one market to prevent competition in another market.
not only should they be forced to compensate palm for the problem, but they should also be forced to make the app-store deliver applications for competing products

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

YES! Exactly!

And I should also be able to get a Whopper at Wendys because they have everything to make a hamburger, all they need is the right grill. After all, I’m too lazy to drive further across town to Burger King.

I’m lazy, incompetent and demand Flame-Broiled goodness! Wendy’s: I have my antitrust eyes on you!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ah. I wish.

Anyways, I was somewhat bored one evening and my friends were hungry.

So everyone arrived, and we had a good time. We spent the night playing Texas Hold’em with libations for all. Swedish Vodka, Good (40 year) Irish Whiskey, as well as a few choice brandys. With the economy and all, these days usually involve ribs or Ribeye that has been marinating for 2 days in some sort of secret spice blend.

So we played cards. Texas Hold’em.
I lost on the 7th hand, this time, after going all-in, on a hand I thought was a total bluff. But it didn’t matter because I killed my friend on the 2nd hand a few weeks prior, and I was glad to loose out to him.

I decided that as host, I needed to do something except drink good Glenliviet. But I like to see my guests have a good time, and maybe this bothers a lot of other people.

The last 3 people are sharks, and the poker game went on for hours, and in the Genius-level IQ I have, I decided to sponsor a “$1.00 taste test” with my 6 good friends.

I arranged arrival of 5 $1.00 hamburgers from McDonalds, 5 from Burger King, and Wendy’s, as well as 5 another local company. 25 burgers in all (I wasn’t too hungry, as I made dinner earlier for me and my fianceé.)

(As a side note, isn’t that cool? Someone at apple thought about a freaking é?)

So anyways, we decided that the local company won, but not by much. As for national chains, well, in this non-scientific blind taste test with libations involved, our un-scientific study found that Burger King won, hands-down.

Oh, so you’re an Apple fan-boy. Why didn’t you just say so?

You’re funny.
So, tell me if you have a business card with a Microsoft logo within your reach? Director or C level?

With Parallels, I can accomplish anything.

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

sorry, no anti-trust violation (or any other) here.

They aren’t preventing the Palm Pre from syncing with *other* software, they aren’t preventing other music software from syncing with the Palm Pre. Apple is preventing someone else from using their software. You are perfectly free to use different software to sync with your Palm Pre.

Plenty of competing software and hardware exists.

Just because a company makes a decision that people don’t like doesn’t make it illegal.

Nick (profile) says:

itunes vs songbird

I realise many have probably said this already, but I did the annoying skip all the comments and just write one quickly at the end

Itunes – works brilliantly on a mac – on a PC it is a resource hungry piece of crap – probably originally made just to make people say – Macs rock – woo woo – anyway

Songbird – with its Ipod addon, works brilliantly – just loaded it yesterday – hate owning an ipod – but got given one for free – just thought i’d jump in and Recommend songbird to everyone!!

Love live Open Source products!

Anonymous Coward says:

Suggestions?

Maybe it’s just for folks like myself with constantly expanding musical tastes, but the subscription services such as Rhapsody and Zune Pass seem like a really great way to get all the music you want at a steady monthly fee. I’ve been using Rhapsody for a couple years now, Yahoo Unlimited before that, they both work great and are really dandy for filling up and maintaining a large library of music, either via download or streaming. I access enough new music every month at a rate where I’d be paying more than double the 15 bucks a month using iTunes or similar services. Then again, it’s rife with licensing issues, and I have to plug in my MP3 player every once in a while or I lose the rights to listen to my own stuff. It’s not a system without it’s flaws, but what isn’t?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Suggestions?

Then again, it’s rife with licensing issues…

Yes, that’s the problem.

…and I have to plug in my MP3 player every once in a while or I lose the rights to listen to my own stuff.

Umm, you’re deluded if you think it’s “your” stuff. You’re just renting it, and they can cut you off anytime they want.

It’s not a system without it’s flaws, but what isn’t?

That’s not much of an excuse.

Judge: So what do you have to say for yourself before I sentence you?

Convict: Ya know judge, I know it wuzn’t right of me to rape and kill that little kid. But hey, I’m not with without my faults, and who isn’t?

Steve Jobbed you says:

To use the iDiots analogies, that itunes is crApple’s and they can block anyone from using it, even if those people are their paying customers, why then Microsoft can simply issue an “update” that makes itunes stop working on Windows. Do you think all those billions of people would switch to macs so they could use itunes, or do you think they’d find software that works on Windows and stop buying iphones?

Carl in Silicon Valley says:

Apple Blocks Palm Pre in Bold Anti Competitive Move

Like Google using a socalled free OS in an anti-competitive move to generate ad revenue for another of it’s products, Apple uses iTunes to dominate the phone and mp3 markets. Can you imagine the uproar if Microsoft did this?

Apple monopolizes markets and uses illegal, anti-competitive tactics to maintain dominance. FTC – are you listening? Unless you have an iPod or an iPhone, guess not. Since I don’t want Apple suing me too…

iPod is a registered trademark of Apple Computer
iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Computer

Mike says:

Re: Apple Blocks Palm Pre in Bold Anti Competitive Move

Exactly!

I for one think that iTunes should be the syncing platform of choice. It’s perfect, works on all platforms, and is like a glass of ice water on a hot summer day. Have you used Napster/Rapshody or Zune software? It’s pitifil, and that DRM stuff makes my thumb smell bad.

But until Apple puts out some standards for the interface and API, how can we know for sure that the Zune work with iTunes?

Get with the program, Apple!!! We need a cross-platform sync tool that doesn’t suck. But please, just don’t call it “Ding”!

Phoenix says:

Anti-American

Ok, all kidding aside. I don’t understand the complaints. Apple has a business model that works for them. Apparently many of the followers of this blog don’t like that model, but so what? Spend your money somewhere else and stop whining. Apple is not like Microsoft. Apple’s business is based on quality of product. There are lots of alternatives for everything they sell. Don’t like the iPod? Go buy a Zune. They’re very good. Don’t like iTunes? Use SongBird or Windows Media Player. Most people here say SongBird is better than iTunes anyway. Don’t like OSX? Get Windows. The truth is, Apple is really good at delivering end-user value with their ecosystems. If they were more open, that value would be eroded by inferior components, like the Palm Pre. No thanks. *Every* category Apple participates in has lots of alternative offers so stop suggesting that Apple has Microsoft-like power – it just isn’t true. Apple’s power is end-user experience and innovation. How can you fault them for wanting to protect their core values?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Anti-American

@71 AC – I’m not whining about people saying things I don’t like about Apple…

Sure sounded like whining to me.

…I’m objecting to flawed arguments concerning business cases. That’s what this blog is about, or so I thought.

Ditto. But when it’s somebody else, you tell them to “stop whining.” Are all Apple fan-boys such hypocrites?

Freedom says:

Cat and Mouse Game

One of the things that should become extremely interesting is if this scales into a cat and mouse game. I personally hope it does as it will be fairly entertaining to watch 🙂

Reminds me of the “old days” when DirecTV would go after the hackers of their cards and end up killing off a bunch of legit customers in the process.

I can’t wait to see Palm file a formal complaint with EU and so on and watch Apple get fined major bucks for this. Sure seems like the rulings in the past indicate that when you are #1 in any category you best make sure that the playing field is level and locking a device out of the iTunes universe doesn’t fly.

Freedom

Dirk Belligerent (profile) says:

Smell that? That's rotting Apples!

The fearful behavior of Apple betrays their knowledge that they’ve peaked and their lazy, arrogant business model of overpriced and underpowered hardware, limited software, and iron-fisted control of whatever they can clutch onto can’t last forever. Sure, fanboys and the stupid – the primary customers for Apple – will still purchase their shallow image-first stuff for the time being, but with no new ideas in the works and crippling hubris all around, the end will come eventually, as much as the House of Jobs wishes otherwise.

Michael Long (profile) says:

Apple products

Did Apple remove ANY functionality from the iPhone or iPod? No. Remove any Apple-supplied functionality from an Apple product? No.

Palm cheated a spec in order to gain access. Apple enforced the spec, which removed it. Palm knew that Apple would either allow it, a win for them, or remove it, in which case the publicity would probably be a win for them. So they decided to run with the cheat.

If you ask me, Palm is the slippery weasel in this particular garden.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Apple products

Yes! And what’s worse is taking the bait and doing the writeup. However, the exaggerated stances on both sides provides hours of entertainment.

I think he’s written 4 anti-apple articles in the past few days. Such contempt obviously shows some deep-seated negativity, possibly even hatred, towards Apple.

Maybe someone he knows has tasked him to write up about how the iPhone better matches several pairs of heels, and he wants to sway shoe designers to make a pair of pumps that go well with the Pré. Who really knows. But, we should track specifically anti-apple and anti-google stories and catalog them in aggregate, as there seems to be a deliberate attack.

Tyler Durden says:

My Take

What Apple did was possibly wrong and short sighted. The point someone made above about losing a revenue stream is also relevant.

However, Palm were rather sneaky in their approach. They should have asked Apple’s permission or entered a contract with Apple to allow access for Pre’s with itunes. The fact that they didn’t…It’s kinda retarded in a business sense.

Lets be honest: the people commenting here are all in the know and they are fully aware of all the alternatives. Most people however, wouldnt know specifically what a USB cable was if it married their sister. They know that if they plug (somehow!) their phone into a computer then itunes should recognise it and they have their lovely music.

AJ (profile) says:

Suggestion? YES HERE

I use http://www.soundsbox.com. Its probably a rebirth of the old allofmp3.com site. Very reasonable prices, fast downloading, something crApple should try to emulate 🙂 AND, they don’t eliminate your devices.

Rhapsody also has some nice pricing. Full unlimited use of their database for something like $15 per month, $7.50 if you’re a Verizon subscriber.

John (profile) says:

Where were you all when IE was bundled?

I would like to know where all of you folks that say that Apple is a closed ecosystem and that’s is just ok were when Microsoft was merely integrating their product (Internet Explorer) with their operating system (Windows).
To address my question, I truly know that you were screaming your heads off that it was an antitrust violation, even though other operating systems and browsers existed, because they were the PREVALENT operating system.
What many people are trying to point out to you, as you plug your ears and say “I’m not listening, I’m not listening”, is that this is the same thing. iTunes is the PREVALENT music management and purchasing software on the market. Yes, there are others. The presence of other options was not enough to stop Microsoft from getting smacked down, so in an unbiased world, the same would happen to Apple.
The only real difference is that public sentiment is different towards Apple currently than it was towards Microsoft.

Gabriel says:

“Salling Media Sync offers iTunes 8.2.1 update Plam Pre solution”

http://www.macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyle/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=26617

As stated earlier, Apple is not obligated to provide support for direct competitors. And they don’t need to, when third-party solutions are readily available.

Seriously, some folks here need to get over their knee-jerk anti-Apple attitude. Apple isn’t perfect, but they’re nowhere near as bad as Microsoft here.

Anonymous Coward says:

People here seem to forget that many former Apple employees are now at Palm, including Jon Rubenstein, who used to be the head of Apple’s iPod division. I don’t know all the legal consequences as I am not a lawyer, but to use inside knowledge of how the iPod/iPhone sync with iTunes seems a bit questionable at least in terms of ethics.

Tyler Durden says:

This

This update does have a very practical side. iTunes is used to update firmware on the iPod. If it sees a device that identifies itself as an iPod it may attempt to install a firmware update. A device that FALSELY identifies itself as an iPod runs the risk of being damaged if iTunes attempts to run a firmware update and the user (one of the ignorant masses who bought a Pre) grants permission. In this case the Pre (or other device) could be damaged and people would blame Apple (incorrectly) when they should instead blame Palm. This iTunes update is definitely covering Apple’s rear end from a legal and PR standpoint.

Anonymous Coward says:

tempest in a teapot

I really don’t see where the controversy is here. There was a bug in itunes that allowed the Palm Pre to pretend to be an ipod. Apple fixed the bug. In fact, once becoming aware of the bug Apple had no choice but to fix it. What if itunes tried to write some data to the Palm thinking that it was an ipod, and ended up messing up the phone? How loud would people be crying then?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: tempest in a teapot

I really don’t see where the controversy is here. There was a bug in itunes that allowed the Palm Pre to pretend to be an ipod. Apple fixed the bug. In fact, once becoming aware of the bug Apple had no choice but to fix it. What if itunes tried to write some data to the Palm thinking that it was an ipod, and ended up messing up the phone? How loud would people be crying then?

I hear there’s also a bug in Windows that allows Open Office to open Microsoft Word documents. But don’t worry, Microsoft is working on a fix. I mean, they have no choice. What if Open Office ends up messing up a Word document? How loud would people be crying then?

Not a fanboi, just real... says:

Some facts might help

Lots of people here are of course reacting with emotion an not facts.

FACT: there is a legal way for any company to access the iTunes play lists. Data is stored in a standardized XML file. Any company can write software to use that file, therefore accessing the data compiled in iTunes.

FACT: Palm isn’t doing that. Instead they are impersonating an Apple product to fool Apple software to to their work. Palm seems to be too lazy or short handed to write their own synching software that could LEGALLY access the iTunes play lists.

Apple MUST defend their IP or end up giving away the right to do so.

Simple answer, Palm is leaching from a program they didn’t write, simply because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of using the available data in a legal way.

I’m not even going to bother with an analogy. This is very clear.

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