USB Forum smacks down beleaguered Palm; sides with Apple over Pre’s iTunes mooching

“Palm may be out of moves in its battle to have the Pre continue syncing with iTunes,” Jim Dalrymple reports for The Loop. “The USB Implementers Forum rendered its decision today and in a letter seen by The Loop, the group sided with Apple.”

Dalrymple reports, “Palm reported Apple to the USB Implementers Forum [USB-IF], a member group that oversees the implementation of USB in the industry, in late July. Palm said it believed Apple was improperly using the Vendor ID provided by the forum.”

Full article here.

Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek, “Writing for the USB-IF, Traci Donnell, the organization’s executive director, wrote that ‘Palm’s allegation (if true) does not establish that Apple is using its Vendor ID contrary to USB-IF’s policies.’ In short, Apple, by limiting access to iTunes to Apple-made devices only, isn’t doing anything wrong, at least not according to USB-IF policies.”

“However, Palm’s July 22 complaint letter also contained this: ‘Palm will shortly issue an update of its WebOS operating system that uses Apple’s Vendor ID number for the sole purpose of restoring Palm media sync functionality.’ Here Palm is saying it plans to issue software to the Pre that allows it to masquerade as an Apple iPod when talking to iTunes,” Hesseldahl reports.

“Whoops. That’s a no-no, Donnell writes. Under USB-IF’s policy, ‘Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage… Usage of another company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded.’ She then gives Palm seven days to ‘clarify its intent,'” Hesseldahl reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Winners win and losers lose, Lurch mini™. Now stand by for class action lawsuits filed on behalf of Pre sufferers to whom Palm advertised iTunes mooching — just as soon as they can get some lawyers on the horn; right now their Pre units need to be replaced due to shoddy build quality or their batteries are all recharging for the 3rd time today already.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Jubei” and “Ken” for the heads up.]


  1. On another site, one of the commenters speculated that Palm already has their own custom-written sync software waiting in the wings, but that they’re trying to use this situation to position Apple as Goliath to Palm’s David, as well as to keep Palm in the news (bad publicity is still publicity!).

    They also seem to have an army of astroturfers ready to spread their version of events, pretending that going through iTunes is the only way to access iTunes content, and conveniently forgetting the fact that all the information is provided in XML format for you to write your own software to sync with iTunes. In this respect, they seem to be using the same playbook as Psystar – mooch off Apple, and when Apple defends their rights, appeal to the masses by painting Apple as “EEEEEEEVIL!”

    Even if this is all some big convoluted plan by Palm to stay in the news and try to score PR points at Apple’s expense, what could they possibly have been thinking by announcing their intention to use Apple’s USB vendor ID? They had to know the USB-IF would not stand for such a clear and blatant breach of the policies everyone must abide by. I suppose it’s possible this, too, is part of their grand scheme, but it’s hard to see what exactly they gain from this.

    Palm could have chosen to sync with and support Mozilla’s Songbird program (open source alternative to iTunes), not only getting iTunes synchronization for free (as Songbird is able to do this), but also currying actual goodwill among the masses by supporting and promoting the use of an open-source iTunes alternative. Instead, they chose little more than to just attack Apple, by trying to convince the world at large that mooching off iTunes is somehow a fundamental right.

    I still say check out the folks providing financial backing to Palm, because it sure seems like those same folks must be funding Psystar as well.

  2. ‘ “In short, Apple, by limiting access to iTunes to Apple-made devices only, isn’t doing anything wrong, at least not according to USB-IF policies.” ‘

    Uh, no, unless Apple owns all the beleaguered Windows- and Linux-box makers.

    Magic word: reported. Consider it done.

  3. @MadMac
    I used to have the same problem after upgrading to 3.0.
    I have disabled push notifications and Push email for gmail (I leave it for Exchange) and now my battery las up to 2 days and a half with out charging and with heavier usage (playing games, chatting via sms, voice calls)

  4. Why do people think they have a right to other people’s property?
    According to this type of logic I should be aloud to go in to anyones house and watch their tv or use their computer whether or not they want me to. If I own something (like iTunes) and only want it used with something else I own, unless it is a trust, I should be able to dictate the use of my property. This isn’t a communist country, and Apple is not responsible for the success any one but Apple. If the situation were reversed, then Apple would be in the wrong, but it’s not and Palm is mooching.

  5. Palm sent this to USB-IF back in July: ‘Palm will shortly issue an update of its WebOS operating system that uses Apple’s Vendor ID number for the sole purpose of restoring Palm media sync functionality’

    Didn’t they do it already, and if so what are the consequences?

    Will Palm lose it USB license?

  6. Oh, noes! All the Palm Pretards are going to start crying to their mommies about evil Apple taking away the usefulness of the Palm Pres and how life and the USB Forum is unfair to the morally righteous. Mommy, mommy, dry my tears. Try and not to soil yourselves, Palm-loving fanboys. You want a device that works with iTunes? Buy an iPhone or iPod.

    Or get on your knees and beg Palm to get a license from Apple to allow the Pre to legally sync with iTunes. I know it’s too much work for Palm to design their own software, due to the lazy nature of that company. Better to let someone else do their work for them and then complain about it. Now, quit your whining and wringing of hands and disappear into the night as a humbled, butthead Pretards should.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.