Apple blocks Palm Pre from iTunes

Palm is unlikely to be able to use its iTunes syncing capabilities as a sales pitch when the phone launches in the UK later this year, following a move by Apple to disallow the new mobile phone from syncing with its music software.

In a software update released on Wednesday from Apple for its iTunes software, Apple states:

"iTunes 8.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices".

The new update blocks Palm's access to the iTunes software, although doesn't seem to have affected other software add-ons like BlackBerry's Media Sync software.

“Palm's media sync works with iTunes 8.2. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we can consider”, Palm told Pocket-lint.

The 8.2.1 update will be a recommended update from Apple for all iTunes users.

The move, which isn't recommended for Palm Pre users enjoying syncing capabilities, as reports on the Internet suggest it will block access, comes after threats by Apple last month.

At the time, Apple said that it "is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players", the statement read.

UPDATE: Apple has responded to the update to BusinessWeek in a statement.

“iTunes 8.2.1 is a free software update that provides a number of important bug fixes. It also disables devices falsely pretending to be iPods, including the Palm Pre. As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players".