palmhackPalm’s latest Pre software deliberately identifies the device as manufactured by Apple, in order to let the Pre connect to iTunes on PCs and Macs.

The back story: Palm and Apple have been battling over the new Pre smartphone’s access to Apple’s iTunes music management application. Palm shipped the Pre a few weeks ago with a trick ID field set on its USB port. The setting fooled iTunes into thinking it was talking to an Apple iPod.

But after Apple issued an update to iTunes that blocks devices with the Pre’s default settings, Palm went all out to re-hack the Pre back into iTunes. As shown in the image capture above by PreCentral.net, updated Pre phones now blatantly declare themselves to be manufactured by Apple.

Several gadget blogs including Gizmodo have speculated that Palm is violating USB standards requirements. It seems likely that Palm is violating a clause that forbids a USB device from giving the wrong manufacturer’s name. But here’s a question: What’s the worst thing that can happen to Palm for that? PreCentral notes that Palm could be required to remove any “USB Compliant” labeling from Pre packaging, but really, would you miss it?