Palm Tattles on Apple For Bad USB Etiquette (And They Would Know)

Illustration for article titled Palm Tattles on Apple For Bad USB Etiquette (And They Would Know)

Did you hear about that Palm Pre update yesterday? The one that re-enables iTunes syncing? Yes, probably, but Palm would still very much like to emphasize to you, and now the USB Implementers Forum, that it's fighting the good fight.


Following their endearingly blustery update announcement, a Palm spokesperson explained that the company will take this fight, possibly the greatest battle of our generation, to the ends of the earth. Or at least to the leading opt-in industry advocacy organization for USB hardware:

Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member.

To quote the least appropriate person possible, uhh, "Boom?" But what does "improper use of the vendor ID number" mean? Palm isn't very specific, though I imagine they have a conceptual, rather than a compliance, issue with Apple. In other words, Palm seems to think that Apple's use of the its vendor ID to shut others out of using its software is somehow wrong, or out of line with the USB-IF's stated ethos. That, and the fact that Palm pretty much has to question the legitimacy (or usage) of Apple's vendor ID, because by designing the Pre to masqaurade as an iPod, they're blatantly infringing upon it. Check this USB-IF compliance update from 2007:

The Vendor ID used by a product must match the VID of the company producing the product (the integrator). Please ensure that the VID used by the product matches the company making the product. The USB-IF does not permit the product to display the silicon VID instead of the company making the product...With written permission, the device may be listed on the Integrators List.

I've got a feeling Palm doesn't have that permission slip.

The best part of this whole fiasco is how low stakes are: Vendor IDs, "USB Compliant!" badges and iTunes syncing are all that's materially at risk here for either company. All the rest is a battle for good PR, fought by PR people. If nothing else, it has been, and will continue to be, really, really fun to watch. [Quote via AllThingsD]



This is incredibly stupid, unprofessional, and just sad. Palm has a great phone here with a great future, if they play their cards right. This is NOT playing their cards right. Apple invested a lot of time, money, and energy into building iTunes into what it is, and paving the way for digital music. They have every right to keep it proprietary, make money off it, and drive sales of their own hardware. Palm is trying to leach onto iTunes rather than developing their own sync technology or licensing another. And it won't work. This is just hurting the Pre users out there who can't rely on this solution since it will be broken and unbroken ad nauseam. I smell a lawsuit, and soon. Palm, it's time to rest the future of the Pre on your own merits, not someone else's.