megasoft: Palm's Pre or iPhone?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Palm's Pre or iPhone?

Multitasking is conspicuously absent in the iPhone 3.0 operating system, although there have been rumors that Apple is speeding the feature to market. iPhone 3.0 devices are expected to be announced within the next 90 days and the new OS will also be an upgrade to current models.

While the WebOS-based Pre will have a multitasking leg up on Apple at its June 6 introduction, Apple could knock another leg out from under the new smartphone even before the Pre launches.

The Pre gains iTunes compatibility by telling the desktop app that it is an iPhone that doesn't understand Apple's copy-protection. This allows the Pre to download content that isn't copy protected, including iTunes Plus and music that users have uploaded themselves.

Counting on Apple to continue offering a feature it doesn't really need, in this case the ability to not download copy-protected music that the iPhone can play but Pre cannot, seems risky.

Making Pre a less-than-adequate iTunes client probably doesn't work in the long run, but locking out other phones has always been Apple's policy. Will the Pre change that? Not if Apple sees value in kicking its new competitor in the knees.

Also, many users already have large collections of copy-protected iTunes songs, purchased from the Music Store, that the Pre is unlikely to ever be able to play.

In this battle of dueling features, Palm may have the stronger position, but shouldn't count on Apple helping its Pre trounce the iPhone.

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