USB Industry Group Rips Palm Over Apple iTunes Hack


Palm probably thought it had Apple's number -- literally -- when it complained to the USB Implementers Forum about being locked out of iTunes sync for Palm Pre. But Palm's complaint may have backfired; according to reports, the USB Implementers Forum's response rips Palm for complaining and says Apple's iTunes updates haven't broken any rules.

In early July, Apple shut down the ability for the Palm Pre and other devices not named iPhone or iPod to sync with iTunes. Following the Pre's June release, Pre had used workaround software to make the sync with iTunes work, but Apple's 8.2.1 update to iTunes disabled "devices falsely pretending to be iPods." Later that month, Palm said web OS 1.1 re-enabled Palm media sync, but another Apple update to iTunes quickly took care of Palm's alleged fix.

Palm sent a letter to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which governs standards for USB technology, alleging that Apple was violating USB-IF standards by updating iTunes to block out content transfer to devices that don't have Apple's USB-IF vendor number.

According to a response from the USB-IF obtained by BusinessWeek, USB-IF Executive Director Traci Donnell writes that "Palm's allegation (if true), does not establish that Apple is using its Vendor ID contrary to USB-IF's policies."

Donnell also called out a suggestion by Palm that Palm would issue an update of webOS that used Apple's ID number to re-enable iTunes sync with Palm devices.

"Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm's usage," she wrote. "Usage of another company's Vendor ID is specifically precluded."

Sit down, Palm?