USB Forum Sides With Apple Over Palm

pre_itunes_noAfter months of software updates by the respective companies to disable and enable the Pre syncing with iTunes, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has ruled on the issue.

Palm loses.

The standards group has not only rejected Palm’s claim of anti-competitive behavior by Apple, but says that it is Palm that’s violating the USB-IF Membership Agreement, John Paczkowski at Digital Daily reports. The Pre’s touted “feature” of
media syncing with iTunes is accomplished by spoofing Apple’s USB vendor ID, in effect making the Pre appear to be an iPod.

In its letter to Palm and Apple, the USB-IF noted that “Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage. Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded.” Further, the USB-IF has asked Palm to clarify its “intent and respond to this potential violation within seven days.” Palm’s immediate response was to pontificate, asserting that the company believes “consumers should have freedom and choice in how and where they use the non-rights managed media they already own.”

And they do. The Pre is perfectly capable of managing media by drag-and-drop all by itself, and if Palm is all about “freedom and choice,” then where is the support for Zune software? Clearly, this has never been about consumer choice, but rather a beleaguered Palm maximizing its potential customer base with minimal development effort on its own part.

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