“Unsupported Third-Party Digital Media Players.” Hmm, Wonder Who That Could Pre…
Palm’s Pre is the first non-Apple device to successfully link with iTunes in years. And it may be the last. On Tuesday, Apple issued an advisory warning that it does not support iTunes integration with third-party digital media players.
Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players.
Translation: The Pre won’t be syncing with iTunes for long.
Now, Palm isn’t explicitly named in the advisory, but it’s clear that this is a broad shot across its bow. And it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. Did anyone really think that Apple (AAPL) would permit the Pre to sync with iTunes by masquerading as an iPod?
Funny. Asked last month at D7 if Apple might take issue with the Pre’s iTunes integration, Palm investor Roger McNamee said, “I don’t think so. They are practically a monopolist and this is what consumers want. Consumers own all this media. I find it hard to believe that Apple will get bent out of shape.” (see video below)
Well, believe it. That said, Palm (PALM) seems unfazed by Apple’s implied threat. Reached for comment, the company said Cupertino will only harm consumers if it disables iTunes integration with the Pre. “Palm’s media sync works with the current version of iTunes,” Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox told me. “If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider.”