You can stop the search for answers.
Unfortunately, the short answer is – “Yes, Apple has gone and done it and. No. Its not a bug.”
Its deliberate – read it here.
Whether its in line with the software requirements of building convenient albeit complicated features and functions, e.g. predicting our travel time in Maps and syncing it over to our iOS devices, or assisting the NSA (National Security Agency) to keep tabs on us, Apple Inc has ended the ability to locally sync Contacts and Calendars via USB through iTunes with the introduction of Mavericks.
The Mavericks and iTunes 11.1.2 combination has effectively reduced iPads and iPhones local sync to the equivalent of an iPod.
The only sync controls left are related only to media content on your iPad and iPhone.
A truly sad day for Mac aficionados.
Looks like unless we can ‘Time Machine’ Apple Inc to a pre-Mavericks era; the message from the Apple is we MUST sync our personal data with iCloud.
This has effectively left Apple Inc open to major cannon fodder from privacy advocates everywhere and its no secret that we harbour hopes that given sufficient pressure Apple Inc may yield and return choice to the consumer.
Despite the purported convenience and resilience of Cloud backup schemes, it is our humble opinion that the honourable business ethic would be to at least provide every consumer with the option to opt out of sharing personal data.
Privacy concerns aside, there are also strong pragmatic reasons for the availability of local syncing between iOS devices and Macs – there will definitely be scenarios where a consumer requires to sync their iOS device with their Mac where there is no WiFi and/or 3G networks present. Under such circumstances with Mavericks, syncing Contact and Calendar data is impossible.
Avoiding the installation of the latest copy of iTunes on Mavericks will not solve anything because Apple Inc has removed the Sync Services architecture in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks entirely.
This remains the root cause of the problem.
So, the latest iTunes is not the culprit but Mavericks which now ships free. Minus Sync Services.
Update: This can be evidenced by the fact that iTunes 11.1.2 continues to display the Info tab and facilitate USB Contacts and Calendars syncing in Mountain Lion.
If however, you insist on upgrading to Mavericks or have already done so and loathe the idea of rolling back your system to Mountain Lion one option that may allow you to use Mavericks but retain the ability to sync your Contacts and Calendars between your Mac and iOS device sans iCloud, may be to explore the option provided by Michael Gracie.
As a general disclaimer we haven’t attempted this ourselves so proceed at your own risk.