Apple Swings Name Deal with Ping Golf

Apple introduced its own music-related social networking service called Ping on Wednesday, but it turns out the Ping name already belongs to a golf equipment company that’s been around since 1959. The two companies struck a deal that lets Apple use the Ping name for its social networking service, and will avoid potential legal headaches over the use of the name, too.

“Like Ping, Apple carries a reputation for innovation and quality.  I have always had great respect for companies that have changed and improved the ways things are done and I continue to model PING along those lines,” commented John Solheim, Chairman and CEO of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, Ping’s parent company. “Apple is a truly great example of this kind of enterprise.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs described the Ping social networking service as “like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” and the company is pitching it as music social networking platform.

“With Ping you can follow your favorite artists and friends and join a worldwide conversation with music’s most passionate fans,” Mr. Jobs said.

Apple’s Ping service requires iTunes 10, which was also announced on Wednesday and is scheduled for release some time today.