Palm reports Apple over iTunes lockout

Palm has accused Apple of violating the USB standard by attempting to prevent devices other than its own iPods and iPhones from syncing with iTunes.

Palm reports Apple over iTunes lockout

The two companies appear to be committed to a game of cat and mouse in which Apple tweaks iTunes to prevent direct syncing by the Palm Pre smartphone, only for Palm to update the Pre’s webOS software to get round Apple’s restriction.

Palm appears to have done this by identifying the Pre as a device made by Apple, by assigning Apple’s unique USB Vendor ID.

Technically, this puts Palm in violation of the USB terms of use, which state: “Unauthorised use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited.” However, Palm insists it’s Apple that’s in the wrong.

“Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum [USB-IF] of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member,” says spokesperson Lynn Fox.

Apple has so far declined to comment.

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