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MacBytes
Jul 25, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: When Does Palm Stop Acting As Apple Wanna-be? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090725225103)
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bruinsrme
Jul 25, 2009, 09:56 PM
Geez another thread about the mac world whining about Palm.

QCassidy352
Jul 25, 2009, 10:27 PM
I don't think it's just whining. I think it raises an interesting point - why is Palm acting this way? Like the "one more thing" comment - that was a deliberate slap at Jobs. It's unprofessional, and more than that, it's weird. It's almost like there's something personal here, and who knows, maybe there is (given the crossover of employees).

Goona
Jul 25, 2009, 10:43 PM
I don't think it's just whining. I think it raises an interesting point - why is Palm acting this way? Like the "one more thing" comment - that was a deliberate slap at Jobs. It's unprofessional, and more than that, it's weird. It's almost like there's something personal here, and who knows, maybe there is (given the crossover of employees).

It's jealousy.

GoCubsGo
Jul 25, 2009, 10:45 PM
Every time someone buys a Pre an Apple fanboi dies.

Zeos
Jul 25, 2009, 10:54 PM
Let them go at it! I like the frontal attacks from Palm and Microsoft. As desperate and childish as the attacks are, they will keep Apple on its toes!


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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: When Does Palm Stop Acting As Apple Wanna-be? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090725225103)
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windywoo
Jul 25, 2009, 11:52 PM
What a stupid article. The guy seems to know nothing about Palm's history, or understand the subtlety of Palm throwing Steve Jobs phrases back at him. He doen't seem to see the issue as being just about synching with iTunes, he expects Pre to develop their own store, something even Apple is not expecting Palm to do. He ignores the other features the Pre has and focuses solely on the synching, then complains that the Pre is not unique.

thejadedmonkey
Jul 26, 2009, 12:11 AM
I don't think it's just whining. I think it raises an interesting point - why is Palm acting this way? Like the "one more thing" comment - that was a deliberate slap at Jobs. It's unprofessional, and more than that, it's weird. It's almost like there's something personal here, and who knows, maybe there is (given the crossover of employees).

Unprofessional...

Where as "Redmond, start your photocopiers" isn't?

Did you happen to see the number of jabs that Apple takes at MS, especially in the past WWDC keynote speech? I'm sorry, but just because Apple doesn't want anything besides an iPod and older MP3 players to sync with iTunes doesn't mean they need to break a contract to enforce it. So what if Palm has managed to figure out the sync routines? Are you [and I don't mean QCassidy specifically] that much of a sheep that you can't accept something just because Apple doesn't like it?

CPD_1
Jul 26, 2009, 12:27 AM
Unprofessional...

Where as "Redmond, start your photocopiers" isn't?

Did you happen to see the number of jabs that Apple takes at MS, especially in the past WWDC keynote speech? I'm sorry, but just because Apple doesn't want anything besides an iPod and older MP3 players to sync with iTunes doesn't mean they need to break a contract to enforce it. So what if Palm has managed to figure out the sync routines? Are you [and I don't mean QCassidy specifically] that much of a sheep that you can't accept something just because Apple doesn't like it?

What contract is Apple breaking to enforce that their software operates like it's supposed to?

sushi
Jul 26, 2009, 12:34 AM
Every time someone buys a Pre an Apple fanboi dies.
Snort!

What happens when someone buys an iPhone. Do 10 Pre Fanbois die? :p

Let them go at it! I like the frontal attacks from Palm and Microsoft. As desperate and childish as the attacks are, they will keep Apple on its toes!
Competition is good that is true.

But these type of actions leave a lot to be desired.

Shasterball
Jul 26, 2009, 05:38 AM
Like the "one more thing" comment - that was a deliberate slap at Jobs. It's unprofessional, and more than that, it's weird.

I dunno, I think we have seen this kind of banter between companies before. I think it's a little more public now because there is media surrounding everything and this is a pretty media friendly subject.

cohibadad
Jul 26, 2009, 11:08 AM
I think this is an interesting topic. I'm torn though. On one hand I'd like to see the Pre succeed because it's an interesting device. On the other hand through my past interactions with Palm I'd resolved to never deal with them again. Maybe this has all changed with a change in leadership. I hope so. I really want to like the Pre (although I have no use for a physical keyboard.) I don't know what Apple's obligations are or should be in regards to 3rd party devices syncing with iTunes. I thought in the past my ancient MP3 device showed up in iTunes although I could be mistaken. I wonder if Palm ever asked Apple for permission to sync with iTunes or if there is any procedure for 3rd parties to apply? Does the Pre sync with Windows iTunes? It would seem easy enough for Palm to code their own simple syncing software using the iTunes library and playlists without actually using iTunes if need be. Although it is obviously more elegant and seamless to plug the Pre in and use iTunes. But iTunes syncing is really the least of my concerns about the Pre. Their apps are the real concern.

SnowLeopard2008
Jul 26, 2009, 09:43 PM
Palm "stole" Apple's patented multi-touch gestures. Palm "palmed" Apple's iTunes, which also happens to be the world's most popular jukebox software.

bruinsrme
Jul 26, 2009, 09:53 PM
maybe apple can steal from palm and incorporate a couple of things from Palm;

real push functionality
multitasking
running programs in the background
swipe to exit a program

Would that would be a fair exchange for itunes syncing and multitouch gestures?

DMann
Jul 27, 2009, 03:43 AM
Snort!

What happens when someone buys an iPhone. Do 10 Pre Fanbois die? :pThat would be beating a dead horse.

chrono1081
Jul 27, 2009, 05:40 AM
Palm Pre = Boring.

Just like every other palm device.

ajbrehm
Jul 27, 2009, 09:19 AM
I don't think it's just whining. I think it raises an interesting point - why is Palm acting this way? Like the "one more thing" comment - that was a deliberate slap at Jobs. It's unprofessional, and more than that, it's weird. It's almost like there's something personal here, and who knows, maybe there is (given the crossover of employees).

It's unprofessional when Jobs did it too.

For years I have wished that there were more companies like Apple. And now that there are, I won't complain.

It is nice to have the Palm Pre as an alternative to the iPhone. It will make both products better. Steve Jobs should realise that the Palm Pre is not an iPhone killer but an ally against the Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and all those Java-based devices.

I would feel more comfortable with buying the Apple stack of stuff (and I have an octo-core Mac Pro, a MacBook, and an iPhone) when I know that I can replace parts of the stack with non-Apple components without losing the integrated feeling completely.

The Palm Pre is from all I hear and read an excellent device. It should sync with the best music player software! Apple should just give Palm a licence to make the Palm Pre an official iPod device and that's that.

pdjudd
Jul 27, 2009, 09:28 AM
The Palm Pre is from all I hear and read an excellent device. It should sync with the best music player software! Apple should just give Palm a licence to make the Palm Pre an official iPod device and that's that.

No. Apple should not give Palm anything. It has nothing to do with iTunes being good or bad. Apple has no obligation to any other phone maker other then themselves. It doesn't matter what you think should happen. Apple made a choice and they said 'No" That's all that matters.

ajbrehm
Jul 27, 2009, 09:41 AM
No. Apple should not give Palm anything. It has nothing to do with iTunes being good or bad. Apple has no obligation to any other phone maker other then themselves. It doesn't matter what you think should happen. Apple made a choice and they said 'No" That's all that matters.

Yeah, right, if Apple doesn't have to do something, they shouldn't. Very wise, especially coming from an Apple _user_.

Don't you feel like an idiot when you are promoting a policy that will only harm you? Why do you think Apple fan boys are the laughing stock of the greater community of computer users?

It DOES matter what I think should happen. I am a customer.

It also matters what you think should happen, but since you think that customers don't matter, you are not useful input for Apple.

What is your true and own opinion on this? Do you want the Palm Pre to sync with iTunes or not? And if not, pray tell me what your personal advantage is when the Pre cannot sync. How is YOUR life better when the Palm pre cannot sync with iTunes?

oyebto
Jul 27, 2009, 09:52 AM
i guess it says a lot about apple when people start using terms like " apple fanboy". i mean, all popular singers and car brands have fans behind them but whoever heard of palm fanboy or microsoft fanboy.

btw, i would love to own the pre when it becomes available in my country. for now, the iphone will suffice.

ajbrehm
Jul 27, 2009, 11:18 AM
i guess it says a lot about apple when people start using terms like " apple fanboy". i mean, all popular singers and car brands have fans behind them but whoever heard of palm fanboy or microsoft fanboy.


There are Microsoft fanboys. But very few of them actually hope that some combination of hardware and software WON'T work.

"I hope Microsoft won't support connecting this device X to Microsoft software Y." is simply not a sentence a Microsoft fanboy will ever say.

It doesn't say much about Apple and more about certain Apple fans.

Apple does some major things right, but look at the title of this discussion: " When Does Palm Stop Acting As Apple Wanna-be?".

Are we really convinced that a) Apple does the right thing and b) nobody else should? What are we if we really don't want more than one company to do the right thing?



btw, i would love to own the pre when it becomes available in my country. for now, the iphone will suffice.

And I for one will want you to remain or be a Mac user even if you don't like the iPhone and use your Palm Pre, which I hope you will get, with Macintosh hardware and iTunes.

Once the Pre becomes available here in Ireland without contract (I already have an iPhone*), I will buy one too. I like technology.

*I have the original iPhone since Apple and o2 don't have anything newer in stock. I would happily pay lots of money for a 3GS, but I can't. And they don't accept pre-orders or orders either. Ironically I have a phone insurance which would replace my current iPhone if I lose it. But with what???

Demosthenes X
Jul 27, 2009, 12:28 PM
So everyone loves Apple, but when another company emulates Apple, everyone hates it? LOL.

djellison
Jul 27, 2009, 01:04 PM
It's unprofessional, ).

What's unprofessional is issuing an iTunes update purely to break some iTunes users who want to put their music library onto something other than an Apple device. Infact, I'd say it's childish.

They'll issue another update, and so Palm will respond with another update for their phone. And in the overlap, Palm customers will think iTunes is broken. This will make Apple look bad.

LeviG
Jul 27, 2009, 01:29 PM
Palm "stole" Apple's patented multi-touch gestures. Palm "palmed" Apple's iTunes, which also happens to be the world's most popular jukebox software.

If palm stole Apples patents why has there been no legal action, could it perhaps be that maybe apple has a few of palms patents hidden inside the iphone, plam has been in the portable computer game a hell of a long time :rolleyes:


As to the issue with itunes - personally I see the ability to use itunes only as an additional feature, given for convenience rather than as a make or break option, iirc the pre can also drag and drop music which means it can use any file browser like a flash drive can too and palm has said that they can use other programs too if needed.

Theres also this minor issue that on a mac there is only really one music player, itunes, and 99% of mac users probably use this to store their music.

Apple chose to have itunes locked to just their devices, users didn't ask for this feature and in my view it shouldn't be the case. If I want to use another device other than an ipod in the only music player on my mac (itunes) then I should be able to.

If windows media player suddenly stopped supporting any media player other than their zune, there would be calls of foul play in the same way as they have received over internet explorer. Why is it that apple can do the same thing yet are being seen as the good guys :confused:

jdechko
Jul 27, 2009, 03:20 PM
As to the issue with itunes - personally I see the ability to use itunes only as an additional feature, given for convenience rather than as a make or break option, iirc the pre can also drag and drop music which means it can use any file browser like a flash drive can too and palm has said that they can use other programs too if needed.

The issue isn't the Pre's syncing with iTunes, it's how the Pre does it. (By using Apple's USB vendor ID without permission, something that's not allowed by the USB Licensing Committee). Apple has no problem with other players syncing with iTunes. RIM wrote it's own software that works perfectly with iTunes (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/media/mediasync.jsp). Then there are 3rd party applications that work just fine such as the Missing Sync (http://www.markspace.com/), DoubleTwist (http://www.doubletwist.com/dt/Home/Index.dt) and Salling Media Sync (http://www.salling.com/mediasync/windows/). These all work without problems because they actually use documented methods of accessing one's iTunes library XML file. These programs aren't hacks, and are unlikely to break with a simple point update. (A later version of iTunes may change the way the XML Library file is handled, but it will be documented by Apple in an API of some sort).

Theres also this minor issue that on a mac there is only really one music player, itunes, and 99% of mac users probably use this to store their music.

And there are millions more Windows users who have iTunes, WMP and many other players.

Apple chose to have itunes locked to just their devices, users didn't ask for this feature and in my view it shouldn't be the case. If I want to use another device other than an ipod in the only music player on my mac (itunes) then I should be able to.

See the first part of my response. It's not so much that Palm does it, it's how they go about doing it.

If windows media player suddenly stopped supporting any media player other than their zune, there would be calls of foul play in the same way as they have received over internet explorer. Why is it that apple can do the same thing yet are being seen as the good guys :confused:

The Zune actually doesn't use WMP for syncing. It uses it's own proprietary software, while forcing other players (including Windows Mobile devices, so far) to use WMP. ;)

pdjudd
Jul 27, 2009, 05:04 PM
Yeah, right, if Apple doesn't have to do something, they shouldn't. Very wise, especially coming from an Apple _user_.

What does the operating system that I prefer to use at home mean anything? Just so you know I also use Windows too. I support companies exerting their property rights within the laws granted to them. It is the right that you get by designing and building intellectual property.


Don't you feel like an idiot when you are promoting a policy that will only harm you? Why do you think Apple fan boys are the laughing stock of the greater community of computer users?

No. When I went with Apple I knew that I was going into a vertically integrated system. I don;t see how this is harming me. I can make my own choices. Nobody is pointing a gun at my head and say "buy this".

By the by, insults don't help your case.

It DOES matter what I think should happen. I am a customer.
However you do not have a say in products that you do not own the rights to. There are tons of things that I may not like to a song that I listen to, that doesn't give me jack to make a business out of editing it and selling it as endorsed by the original. Guess what. You have the power here. You do not have to use iTunes. You chose to use iTunes.

It also matters what you think should happen, but since you think that customers don't matter, you are not useful input for Apple.

No. Thats not what I said. I said customers should not have a say on what happens to iTunes - a product that they do not own. That choice is for Apple to make. You don't like it than exercise your consumer decisions to take your business elsewhere.

What is your true and own opinion on this? Do you want the Palm Pre to sync with iTunes or not? And if not, pray tell me what your personal advantage is when the Pre cannot sync. How is YOUR life better when the Palm pre cannot sync with iTunes?

I want Palm to get off their lazy behinds and create an application that legitimately uses Sync Services just like RIM is doing, to access the content in a way that Apple uses it instead of them using what isn't theirs to get a hack job done that will never fully work.

I want programs to not use services that they are not granted access to. I want developers to program properly instead of screwing with something that they have no business doing.

LeviG
Jul 27, 2009, 06:31 PM
The issue isn't the Pre's syncing with iTunes, it's how the Pre does it. (By using Apple's USB vendor ID without permission, something that's not allowed by the USB Licensing Committee). Apple has no problem with other players syncing with iTunes. RIM wrote it's own software that works perfectly with iTunes (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/media/mediasync.jsp). Then there are 3rd party applications that work just fine such as the Missing Sync (http://www.markspace.com/), DoubleTwist (http://www.doubletwist.com/dt/Home/Index.dt) and Salling Media Sync (http://www.salling.com/mediasync/windows/). These all work without problems because they actually use documented methods of accessing one's iTunes library XML file. These programs aren't hacks, and are unlikely to break with a simple point update. (A later version of iTunes may change the way the XML Library file is handled, but it will be documented by Apple in an API of some sort).
this also kind of supports my point - you need additional programs to sync up meaning more software needs to fill up your hard drive and you need to learn more programs. Now I'm not saying I agree with palms approach but what they are trying to do is remove the need for the user to learn another program or syncronise another program just so music can be put onto your phone. They've recognised that itunes has a major marketshare of the music players and are trying to allow their users to continue using their player of choice (or necessity if you own an ipod).
Windows media player allows any player that has been made to support it access and sync with its media files, you don't need additional software just to transfer your music from a-b, itunes doesn't have this feature meaning that a user/alternative player is forced into using underhanded measures to offer the same options that are readily available on microsofts media player.


And there are millions more Windows users who have iTunes, WMP and many other players.
my point stands regarding itunes on a mac, the issue on windows is mute because this is an issue over apple versus palm and we all know how rubbish itunes on windows is to start with (its bad) :)


The Zune actually doesn't use WMP for syncing. It uses it's own proprietary software, while forcing other players (including Windows Mobile devices, so far) to use WMP. ;)cut me a little slack, we're not worthy of either the zune or the pre in this country :p The sentance puts the point accross none the less :)

Eddyisgreat
Jul 27, 2009, 06:46 PM
this also kind of supports my point - you need additional programs to sync up meaning more software needs to fill up your hard drive and you need to learn more programs. Now I'm not saying I agree with palms approach but what they are trying to do is remove the need for the user to learn another program or syncronise another program just so music can be put onto your phone. They've recognised that itunes has a major marketshare of the music players and are trying to allow their users to continue using their player of choice (or necessity if you own an ipod).
Windows media player allows any player that has been made to support it access and sync with its media files, you don't need additional software just to transfer your music from a-b, itunes doesn't have this feature meaning that a user/alternative player is forced into using underhanded measures to offer the same options that are readily available on microsofts media player.

my point stands regarding itunes on a mac, the issue on windows is mute because this is an issue over apple versus palm and we all know how rubbish itunes on windows is to start with (its bad) :)

cut me a little slack, we're not worthy of either the zune or the pre in this country :p The sentance puts the point accross none the less :)

Then whats the issue here? Why doesn't said consumer just get a lame "playsforsure" windows media based player and move along. . If you want itunes intergration, you get an iPod. If you want to use Windows mobile and enter the "realm of infinite compatability" then get a Sansa or an iRiver...or a zune or something.

Just because something is better for the consumer doesn't mean that every vendor is allowed to have access to it. That would be akin to Honda spending billions of dollars developing a force field that protects a vehicles occupants then the government coming in and forcing them to license it to every other car maker at zero cost. Innovation = $$$ in the business world, and Apple is allowed to milk it for all its worth.

jdechko
Jul 27, 2009, 11:46 PM
LeviG, as far as I know, iTunes only syncs music to a Pre, so you still need additional software installed to sync other forms of data. The Blackberry software and Missing Sync are also multi-purpose pieces of software. Only DoubleTwist and Salling Media Sync exist for syncing media. However, unlike iTunes, they are able to sync with a myriad of devices, so, in effect, you're simplifying software by only needing one program to sync with many devices. That's why these programs exist.

Additionally, there are many people who bought the Pre because it synced with iTunes. The consumer doesn't care how it's done, but when things go awry, they complain. It makes Apple and Palm look bad. If the 3rd party programs work 100% of the time, I'm sure many consumers would rather use that. All of the 3rd party programs I listed are cross-platform. They are (or will be) available to both Mac and PC users, giving everyone an alternative regardless of platform (except for Linux users who are used to getting the short end).

With respect to the Zune, I can understand why anyone would be confused. After all, WMP is the default media player under windows and Zune>Microsoft>Windows>WMP would be a logical conclusion, but it's not. And consider yourself fortunate not to have the Zune. :p

In any case, I've been trying to come up with an analogy fitting. So far, this is the best I've come up with.

You're a member of an exclusive club. You pay an enormous amount, say 100k+, per year to be a member. As a member, you get a ID card and various benefits. Anyone is open to be a member, so long as he or she pays the dues and plays by the rules. One of the membership benefits is that you have a unique ID. No one else can be you. One of the membership rules state that you can't pretend to be another member. Say another member comes along and makes a copy of your ID and goes around passing themselves off as you.

That's essentially the situation. Both Apple and Palm are paid members and have their own unique vendor ID's for their stuff. But Palm is basically stealing (using something owned by someone else, without their permission) Apple's vendor ID. Apple loses because they paid for a unique ID, and because they're the ones who have to maintain iTunes. Palm, in this situation is both a)lazy and b)freeloading. Palm seriously needs to allocate the resources (either manpower or financial) and either write their own syncing program or license one from someone else (one of the 3rd party apps, perhaps.)

ajbrehm
Jul 28, 2009, 04:00 AM
No. When I went with Apple I knew that I was going into a vertically integrated system. I don't see how this is harming me. I can make my own choices. Nobody is pointing a gun at my head and say "buy this".


Do you even follow what is being discussed here?

Nobody suggested in any way that YOU must buy something you don't want. And this is not about YOUR choices either.

Nobody, not even Palm, said anything like that.

I understand that you have no idea what's going on and don't want to interrupt your vendetta against (other people's) freedom to choose any more.

Have a nice day.

pdjudd
Jul 28, 2009, 08:34 AM
Do you even follow what is being discussed here?

Nobody suggested in any way that YOU must buy something you don't want. And this is not about YOUR choices either.

Nobody, not even Palm, said anything like that.

I understand that you have no idea what's going on and don't want to interrupt your vendetta against (other people's) freedom to choose any more.

Have a nice day.

I know darn well what is going on here. If you cannot understand that, well, that is your problem. I have never said that anybody must buy something that they do not. I said that it was the users choice to buy something else.

LeviG
Jul 28, 2009, 12:07 PM
Then whats the issue here? Why doesn't said consumer just get a lame "playsforsure" windows media based player and move along. . If you want itunes intergration, you get an iPod. If you want to use Windows mobile and enter the "realm of infinite compatability" then get a Sansa or an iRiver...or a zune or something. its not about buying xyz brand product, its about the facility to integrate into the major media player on said operating system if a manufacturer wanted to.
Now just assume you own an ipod and a mac, you want a device which isn't an iPhone, I don't know maybe a palm pre, but you still want to sync your itunes organised music (obviously not protected aac) with the phone of your choice - you can't without additional software. Personally I see the requirement of adding an additional piece of software into the transfer process as being overly closed minded on apples part. MS has made their media player (basically integral to the os like itunes) accessible to other players within set guidelines and as such you can setup your playlists and drag across etc without the need for other software.


Just because something is better for the consumer doesn't mean that every vendor is allowed to have access to it. That would be akin to Honda spending billions of dollars developing a force field that protects a vehicles occupants then the government coming in and forcing them to license it to every other car maker at zero cost. Innovation = $$$ in the business world, and Apple is allowed to milk it for all its worth.Take you don't know much about where your seatbelts came from then :)
Volvo gave their design to everyone to use royalty free, just think how much money they lost out with that idea. Sometimes its better to give things up for the better good.


LeviG, as far as I know, iTunes only syncs music to a Pre, so you still need additional software installed to sync other forms of data. The Blackberry software and Missing Sync are also multi-purpose pieces of software. Only DoubleTwist and Salling Media Sync exist for syncing media. However, unlike iTunes, they are able to sync with a myriad of devices, so, in effect, you're simplifying software by only needing one program to sync with many devices. That's why these programs exist.
last time I checked itunes needed to sync with other programs for things like mail and notes etc.

Additionally, there are many people who bought the Pre because it synced with iTunes. The consumer doesn't care how it's done, but when things go awry, they complain. It makes Apple and Palm look bad. If the 3rd party programs work 100% of the time, I'm sure many consumers would rather use that. All of the 3rd party programs I listed are cross-platform. They are (or will be) available to both Mac and PC users, giving everyone an alternative regardless of platform (except for Linux users who are used to getting the short end).
you could argue this is all down to marketing rather than features, you could argue technically speaking that if there was an intermediary application such as the blackberry one that it would still do the same just in a different way.


With respect to the Zune, I can understand why anyone would be confused. After all, WMP is the default media player under windows and Zune>Microsoft>Windows>WMP would be a logical conclusion, but it's not. And consider yourself fortunate not to have the Zune. :p
I quite like the look of the new Zune HD (touch one) and it looks to have one hell of a cpu (tegra) to work with. I should have known about the zunes player but for some reason it slipped my mind too :)

In any case, I've been trying to come up with an analogy fitting. So far, this is the best I've come up with.

You're a member of an exclusive club. You pay an enormous amount, say 100k+, per year to be a member. As a member, you get a ID card and various benefits. Anyone is open to be a member, so long as he or she pays the dues and plays by the rules. One of the membership benefits is that you have a unique ID. No one else can be you. One of the membership rules state that you can't pretend to be another member. Say another member comes along and makes a copy of your ID and goes around passing themselves off as you.

That's essentially the situation. Both Apple and Palm are paid members and have their own unique vendor ID's for their stuff. But Palm is basically stealing (using something owned by someone else, without their permission) Apple's vendor ID. Apple loses because they paid for a unique ID, and because they're the ones who have to maintain iTunes. Palm, in this situation is both a)lazy and b)freeloading. Palm seriously needs to allocate the resources (either manpower or financial) and either write their own syncing program or license one from someone else (one of the 3rd party apps, perhaps.)Yes the use of apples id's is wrong but I'm not sure I'd say they're being lazy or freeloading, as I've said the pre can sync via drag and drop so all they have done is added in an additional feature (or code) that allows it to work with itunes.
To use your analogy of a private club, most private clubs allow you to bring a guest and as such you have access to the same features as the paid members without the expense of joining said club, you still pay for all the other elements while you are there. The problem arises when there isn't anywhere to pay meaning you can't pay for what you are using.