Apple locks Palm Pre out of iTunes

Apple’s decision to prevent the Palm Pre from syncing to iTunes has knocked 3% off Palm’s share value.

Apple locks Palm Pre out of iTunes

Apple’s latest update to iTunes was intended to fix software bugs and “address an issue with verification of Apple devices.”

“It also disables devices falsely pretending to be iPods, including the Palm Pre. As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players,” notes Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr.

A representative for Palm did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Before the June launch of the Pre, its ability to “synchronizes seamlessly with iTunes” was one of its biggest selling points. Since then, the Pre has helped revive Palm’s fortunes and fuelled a sharp increase in its stock price.

Analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros claims he was not surprised by Apple’s move, which he claims was “the right thing” to do to protect its intellectual property.

“The last thing Apple needs is someone having access to its hard-earned technology for free,” he says. “We view this as a modest negative for Palm as syncing with iTunes was a feature that was touted and we think could impact some customers’ decisions.”

The Pre can still access music on a user’s computer hard drive, and can download songs from Amazon.com’s MP3 store directly on the Pre.

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