updated 09:15 am EDT, Thu May 28, 2009
Palm Pre iTunes Sync Claim
Palm's recent links with Apple may have provided it with unofficial native support for iTunes syncing with the Pre, according to claims made on Thursday. Instead of relying on an in-between utility to sync music with the phone, the Pre apparently shows in iTunes on Macs as a native device and supports many relevant features. Its only apparent limitation is said to be a lack of support for FairPlay-protected AAC songs; those bought from the current DRM-free store work properly.
Windows iTunes support isn't mentioned and is uncertain.
Should the sync remain for shipping phones, it has potential legal ramifications for Palm. Many of the company's engineers, as well as executive board chairman Jon Rubinstein, previously worked at Apple on products like the iPhone and iPod. They potentially have knowledge of Apple's device integration techniques with iTunes and so may have used this experience to give the Pre native sync support that would otherwise be off-limits. Rubinstein in particular is one of the key original architects of the iPod.
While focusing primarily on its use of multi-touch, Palm has partly defended itself from concerns over patents by claiming that it has patents of its own and can prove it doesn't rely on any of Apple's patented techniques.