Big bad Apple (AAPL) probably won’t sue Palm (PALM) over stealing its features for the Pre, says Therese Poletti, backing off an earlier theory.
This will leave the Pre and Palm to bomb on their own. Palm investor Roger McNamee should dump the stock now, while he still can.
(Why? In short because we don’t think there is room for yet another player in the high-end smartphone market. In the US, at least, this is now a battle between Apple and RIM. It’s a platform game as much as a gadget game–see the App store–and it’s hard to see how Palm will mobilize developers to start cranking on yet another platform. Palm will probably sell a bunch of Pres initially–the product has good buzz–but the cool kids are already building their lives around iPhones and Blackberries.)
MarketWatch: When Palm Inc. executives demonstrated last week some new features of the widely anticipated Pre, many wags — myself included — speculated Apple Inc. might sue its smart-phone rival over the ability of the soon-to-be launched device to synch seamlessly with iTunes.
But after further thought and a chat with experts smarter than myself, such a move by Apple actually seems unlikely. Tim Bajarin, president of tech consultant Creative Strategies in Campbell, Calif., predicted that Apple /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 139.35, +3.54, +2.61%) will leave Palm alone on the iTunes issue.
“I don’t believe Apple will do anything,” Bajarin said. “When I heard these stories on this, I shook my head.” Bajarin reminded me that Apple’s latest version of iTunes now sells all songs under iTunes Plus, which are free of digital rights management, or DRM.
“It’s purely DRM-free content that I am free to move anywhere,” Bajarin added.