NEW YORK (AP) — Palm said Thursday that its much-awaited new smartphone, 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, though third-party software is available that lets some digital music players masquerade as iPods in iTunes.

Palm’s new phone goes on sale June 6, with Sprint Nextel 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 smartphones.

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.

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