By Steve Green on Thu, 07/16/2009
Palm's strategy for mimicking some of Apple's iPhone features has been a boon to the heralded Pre, which just launched about a month ago. Capacitive touch screen, pinch zooming, and similar specs have made the Pre a serious competitor to the iPhone in many respects. So much so, that I was expecting Apple to sue Palm before the Pre's launch to block them from selling it over Apple's patents.
Apple had nary a response and sat by quietly watching and observing. It seemed that Palm may have gotten a pass from Apple which I thought that Palm may have taken to heart. I was surprised when Palm exec's held an announcement proclaiming that the Pre would act as an iPod in iTunes and allow music syncing. Palm should have acted surprised and played stupid that it could do that in any capacity.
It is one thing to copy pinch zooming but there is no way that Apple would have stood by while some upstart compromises its core product and announce it to the world. My reaction was that Apple would patch that hole at all costs and make a special patch to do so immediately. They did. Yesterday Apple pushed out iTunes 8.2.1 to fix the leak that Palm created which begs the question: will Palm be foolish enough to try to break the fix? I think not considering the legality of doing so. Palm cannot afford a major lawsuit while it tries to save itself financially.
Palm would have been better served by announcing that Mark Space had created an excellent desktop program that does most of what iTunes can do and has extra goodies built in such as creating ringtones in a few mouse clicks. Alas, Palm made no announcement, did not create their own desktop sync program or promote The Missing Sync for their device. Looking quite foolish now, I wonder what their next announcement will be.