Palm gives up. Latest WebOS update for the Palm Pre lacks iTunes support

After months of back and forth updates, Palm has seemingly given up on its efforts to maintain media syncing between the Palm Pre and iTunes.

Over the past few months, Palm and Apple have been playing a never ending game of cat and mouse over the Palm Pre's ability to sync up with iTunes.  Every time Apple released an iTunes update which prevented the Pre from syncing with iTunes, Palm would fire back with a WebOS update of its own which restored media syncing.  This back and forth went on a number of times, and Palm even went so far as to file a complaint with the USB Implementers Forum claiming that Apple was improperly discriminating against third party USB vendor ID's.  The irony in Palm's complaint, of course, was that it was spoofing Apple's USB Vendor ID in order to get iTunes to recognize the Pre, a move which was a blatant violation of USB Vendor guidelines.

In late September, the USB Implementers Forum sided with Apple and lambasted Palm for its actions, writing that "usage of any other company's Vendor ID is specifically precluded."

Palm, however, remain unfazed.

In early October, Palm released WebOS 1.2, an update which restored iTunes syncability after the release of iTunes 9 had blocked it.  A few weeks later, Apple released iTunes 9.02, an update which once again broke media syncing on the Palm Pre.  

And just when you thought that Palm was becoming predictable, it decided to switch things up.  Palm recently released a WebOS 1.3.1 update for the Palm Pre, and believe it or not, iTunes support is a thing of the past, at least for now.

For the time being, it appears that Palm has finally given up on its efforts to maintain compatibility between the Pre and iTunes.  And truth be told, it's about time.  The real losers in this little tiff between Apple and Palm were the Palm Pre users who found themselves stuck in the middle of the dispute.  One day a Palm Pre would sync up with iTunes and the next week it wouldn't.  Talk about an extremely inconsistent and frustrating user experience for Pre owners.

iTunes issues aside, it's also about time that Palm stop playing games with Apple and direct its attention towards more pressing issues.  The Pre may have been the iPhone competitor of choice just a few months ago, but today it's all about Android.  Instead of trying to fight with Apple over iTunes, Palm needs to focus on competing with impressive new devices like the Motorola Droid, which has by and large surpassed the Pre as the most desirable smartphone that isn't an iPhone. 

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