Delivering a hearty blow to Palm, the USB Implementers Forum is siding with Apple after Palm appealed to the organization in an effort to bar Apple from preventing the Pre smartphone from syncing with iTunes. The USB-IF, the organization tasked with overseeing and promoting universal serial bus technology, also charged that Palm's alleged use of Apple's vendor identification number is a violation of the organization's policy.
Not long after the release of Palm's new flagship smartphone, the Pre, Apple fired the first shot in a now raging battle involving the Pre's ability to sync with Apple's popular music software, iTunes. With iTunes update 8.2.1, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker patched the Pre's ability to trick iTunes into believing it is a music-hungry iPod.
Charging that Apple's move is "hampering competition" and a violation of USB-IF policy, Palm took its case to the USB-IF which has dismissed the claim and instead put Palm on notice regarding its own potential policy violation. In a written response, the USB-IF states that "Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm’s expressed intent to use Apple’s VID appears to violate the attached policy."
Touting the ability to seamlessly sync with iTunes as a major selling point, the response is bad news for the struggling Pre manufacturer as Palm looks to the Pre and its new webOS mobile operating system to buoy sales and lead the company back to profitability.
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