As I speculated in my previous blog post on Palm Pre Sync and now confirmed by the image above, when the Pre is in “Media Sync” mode it identifies itself as an Apple iPod. However, it’s only the Mass Storage interface that identifies itself as an iPod. The root USB node (IOUSBDevice) still identifies the device as a Palm Pre (not visible in the image above). This means that Apple can very easily update iTunes to block the Pre.
This means Apple could modify iTunes to discern a Pre from the actual fifth-generation iPod it is masquerading as. So Apple could update iTunes to block the Pre without disrupting the experience of actual iPod owners. (Update: The Pre is compatible with this week’s iTunes 8.2.0 release.)