Apple’s currently fighting legal battles on many fronts these days, but it’s to be expected when you’re a company with such a huge public outreach. The latest? A fight between Palm and Apple regarding Palm’s masquerading as an iPhone so that it can connect to, and sync with, iTunes. Apple claims only the iPhone has the ability to sync with iTunes (does it smell like an anti-competitive problem to anyone else?), and they’ve been taking measures to block Palm from getting its grimy little hooks into iTunes. Palm, on the other hand, has a completely different philosophy on the matter:-
Palm says that Apple, which allows only its own devices to connect directly with iTunes software, is misusing the standards put in place to foster interoperability between computers and devices using a U.S.B. connection.
Complaints have been filed and Palm doesn’t seem to be taking this one lying down.
Apple’s strategy is obvious, but the real question is, how long can Apple keep other devices out of iTunes? It would be a huge blow to Apple if the Zune, or other third party devices were able to sync with iTunes, but there’s no doubt that the market could use some legitimate competition. I’m a big proponent of competition in the tech industry, so I wouldn’t be heart broken if Apple eventually loses out here. That being said, Victor Ganata brought up a really interesting point about this whole debacle, “Is it really legit for one USB device to masquerade as another USB device, though?” I find it hilarious that Palm is crying foul after having their phone blocked from iTunes, when they clearly have no qualms about masquerading their phone as a device that it is not.
It’s starting to sound like the real case that needs to be ruled on here is whether or not device manufacturers have the right to have their phone acting as other devices. My guess is No.
[via NY Times]