A few weeks ago, Apple released an iTunes update which prevented the Palm Pre from syncing up with iTunes. Shortly thereafter, Palm responded with an update of its own with the release of webOS 1.1, an update which re-enabled the ability of the Pre to sync up with and transfer media files from iTunes.
In case you’re curious as to how the new update enables the Palm Pre to sync up with iTunes, here’s the scoop. When it was first released, the Palm Pre identified itself to iTunes as a “mass storage device” called an iPod. After Apple updated iTunes to block the Pre, Palm issued a webOS udpate which now identifies the Pre as a device with an Apple USB Vendor ID.
But the story doesn’t end there.
After re-enabling the Pre to sync up with iTunes, Palm filed a complaint with the USB Implementators Forum, alleging that Apple was violating some rule for discriminating against certain USB Vendor ID’s. The obvious irony is that spoofing USB Vendor ID’s, as Palm has done by spoofing Apple’s, is in clear violation of the contract companies have to sign in order to receive a unique USB Vendor ID.
When applying for a USB Vendor ID, companies are required to sign a form acknowledging, among other things, that “Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited.”
So what the hell is Palm doing here? Are they trying to get as much publicity as possible or are they just fumbling through blindly in an attempt to stick it to Apple, even at their own expense and reputation?
And why doesn’t Palm just write its own syncing software like RIM does?