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Apple iPhone vs. Palm Pre: The battle over iTunes

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The battle over the Palm Pre phone and Apple’s iTunes has the two companies bickering like a couple going through a custody battle.

Palm Pre phone. Credit: Associated Press

The high-stakes soap opera began June 6 when Palm began selling its well-reviewed Pre phone, which was obviously designed to take on the current king of cool in the cellphone world, Apple’s iPhone. One of the Pre’s claims to bragging rights was that it could make use of Apple’s hugely popular iTunes program to sync and organize music.

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But Apple struck back last week, updating iTunes and shutting out Pre’s access.

Then yesterday it was Palm’s turn -- the company said it updated the Pre’s software in a way that again allowed it to sync with iTunes when hooked up to a computer’s USB port.

Apple’s iPhone 3GS. Credit: Getty Images

And now an obscure industry standards group, the USB Implementers Forum, might be getting into the act. Palm said it has notified the forum of the steps it has taken to allow the phone to work with iTunes, according to the Associated Press. This was probably done to try to legitimize its access to the Apple product.

Think of it this way: There is no doubt Apple originated iTunes, but Palm is demanding visiting rights.

Stay tuned.

-- David Colker


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