updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue November 24, 2009
Palm online sync fails for some users
Owners of Palm's newer phones have encountered a flaw in its online backup system that has wiped out contacts and calendars. A portion of users note that backups sent to Palm's Profile cloud service from a Pre (and now Pixi) are being corrupted and blank out any synchronized data when the phone has to be reset or restored. Those without a local backup, such as through an app like Missing Sync, have no choice but to recreate the data from scratch.
Palm is working on a fix and claims the issue touches only a "small number" of users, but also believes the issue only affects those migrating between phones where users at PreCentral and elsewhere have reported it occurring with their existing devices.
The failure is the second for online backup to affect the phone business in recent memory and follows Microsoft's widespread Sidekick outage, which nearly lost data for those using the T-Mobile messaging phone. Palm's loss is less severe as the phone has solutions for offline sync and can tap into services whose backups are independent of Palm. Apple's MobileMe service, in comparison, is intended only as an optional feature for the iPhone and won't necessarily trigger major data loss in the event of an outage.