Earlier: Palm’s (PALM) war with rival Apple (AAPL) is heating up.
The current topic is whether Palm’s hack to allow its Pre users to sync music with Apple’s iTunes software is a sloppy trick or a savvy marketing strategy. Apple has blocked the loophole once, and Palm recently worked around Apple’s reponse.
The latest move: Palm has complained about Apple to an industry group called the USB Implementers Forum, the New York Times reports:
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. Palm has filed a complaint with the U.S.B. Implementers Forum, an industry group established by technology companies that developed the technology that links computers to other electronic devices, claiming Apple is restraining trade.
Hard to imagine this — or anything short of a government mandate or a Steve Jobs epiphany — will get Apple to open up.
Apple has spent the better part of the last decade establishing its iTunes footprint, based on quality and ease-of-use that competitors weren’t able to comprehend. (Ever tried Sony’s jukebox software? Exactly.) And, of course, the iTunes lock-in forced by the iPod, the world’s top MP3 player.
But that’s Apple’s advantage to enjoy and to control — not an open system that its competitors have a natural right to participate in.
There was certainly nothing stopping Palm from making desktop sync/jukebox software that wasn’t crappy for its PDAs and Treos in the last decade. But for some reason, that wasn’t a priority for them. It shouldn’t be Apple’s problem that Palm wants in now.
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