Apple blocks rival smart phones

From Creative Bits (7/17/09)

Apple with the iTunes, 8.2.1 update blocks non-Apple phones from appearing as an iPod in iTunes. This is a blow most importantly to Palm, because their Palm tre has been advertised to work with iTunes.

Officially Apple did this because they do not test non-Apple products with iTunes, but it’s clearly a move to protect the iPhone market. The message is clear. If you want iTunes and iTMS on the go you have to get an Apple device.

I would like to state that Apple does have the legal and most importantly moral right to do this. Just as Microsoft has the right to include IE in Windows. There is nothing wrong with a company protecting and upselling their own products. They can and should do this. There is no obligation from one company to help competing companies. And, on the long term, such protective behavior will benefit everyone.

If Apple were to spend resources on making sure other devices are working fine with iTunes they would limit themselves in development. Therefore iPhone users would suffer to help out Palm users. Palm users would gain on the short term, but will be left with uncertainty on long term.

In this situation Palm will have to make a decision, either to build their own iTunes/iTMS ecosystem to sell hardware or to agree with Apple to support their hardware for a fee. Either way consumers will benefit. If Palm creates a competing music player and store, we all will have a bigger choice. If Palm pays for Apple support Palm users can be sure iTunes will work properly on their device.

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