I think we all saw this coming. I'm surprised, actually, it has taken Apple this long to bring it up.
AppleInsider.com is reporting that Apple has posted a new Knowlege Base article (6/16/09) stating that the iPod and iPhone maker doesn't test for third-party media player compatibility with it's software and that the new Palm Pre smartphone may no longer be able to sync with iTunes as Apple upgrades the software over time. In article HT3642, Apple states:
"Apple designs the hardware and software to provide seamless integration of the iPhone and iPod with iTunes, the iTunes Store, and tens of thousands of apps on the App Store. Apple 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."
AppleInsider also writes:
"Whether or not this is likely to happen with the Pre is difficult to tell. The feature works by identifying the smartphone in its hardware ID as an iPod and would require that Apple detect the difference between the Pre and a genuine iPod. Many of Palm's current engineers -- as well as its new CEO Jon Rubinstein -- are former Apple employees who have worked on the iPhone or iPod and are familiar with iTunes' current methods of recognizing plugged-in devices."
We will have to wait and see what happens. Apple and Palm have been dancing around each other like boxers in the ring. Will this become a slugfest similar to the games that Apple players with the hackers who jailbreak iPhones; with each side upping the ante? No one really knows for sure, but it has become clear that with Palm having people who have worked on the iPod and iPhone on staff, Palm should be well equiped to counter any unintentional or otherwise, breaks between the Pre and iTunes.