Palm Inc. said Thursday that its much-awaited new smart phone, the Pre, can connect to Apple's iTunes software and download music and photos just as if it were an iPod or iPhone.
The feature might be unique for a device not made by Apple Inc., though third-party software is available that lets some digital music players masquerade as iPods in iTunes.
Palm Inc.'s new phone goes on sale June 6, with Sprint Nextel Corp. as the exclusive launch carrier. It will be $200 with a two-year contract and a rebate, competing with Apple's iPhone in the market for high-end smart phones.
Jon Rubinstein, Palm's executive chairman and former Apple executive, said he didn't worry about objections from his former employer.
"We're trying to make customers happy," he said at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif., where he offered a demonstration. "It's a great feature."
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment.
Also Thursday, the chief executive of Verizon Wireless, Lowell McAdam, said his company will carry the Pre within six months, although a Sprint Nextel spokesman said Sprint will be the exclusive carrier until at least the end of the year. Palm's Rubinstein declined to comment.