Most U.S. carriers allow tethering for a small fee. AT&T does, too, but not for Apple’s iPhone. Instead, AT&T’s very best customers, iPhone users, who wish to use their iPhones as wireless modems so their MacBooks can access the Net must pay another $60 per month for a separate “LaptopConnect Card” and a “DataConnect” account that offers a comparable amount of data that they’re already paying for under their iPhone contracts.
MacDailyNews Note: We currently pay $60 per month per MacBook Pro for tethering, but we pay those fees to Verizon because we need reliable connections. However, if AT&T offered iPhone tethering as they promised so long ago that they would, we’d risk it to save $60 per MacBook Pro minus whatever AT&T plans to charge for tethering per month.
iPhone users around the world enjoy tethering on their iPhones, but not those in the U.S., despite AT&T’s June 18, 2009 promise that “in the future, AT&T will offer tethering capability for iPhone 3G S and iPhone 3G.” In fact, AT&T has been dangling the promise of iPhone tethering for even longer. On November 6, 2008, yes, 2008, AT&T Mobility President Ralph De La Vega told an audience at the Web 2.0 Summit that tethering to iPhone was coming “soon.” At the time, Computerworld’s Matt Hamblen reported that de la Vega was also “whipping up excitement for tethering…” via blogging, as noted by Technologizer’s Harry McCracken.
MacDailyNews Take: The nebulous “soon” and “in the future” have a reasonable shelf-life, AT&T. You passed it long ago. You can’t promise something to users, something that may have enticed sales of iPhone 3G and 3GS to a significant amount of buyers, and then not deliver in a reasonable amount of time. Well, you can, but don’t be surprised when they get pissed off, start complaining, and perhaps begin exploring the possibility of launching class action lawsuits.
In related news today, Gizmodo’s Kyle VanHemert reports that Swedish DJ Jezper Söderlund just recently emailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs to ask, “Will the wifi-only [iPad] somehow support tethering thru my iPhone?” Jobs’ reply: “No.”
On February 4, BusinessWeek’s Roben Farzad reported that AT&T still “plans to offer iPhone tethering,” but not right now, quoting AT&T Operations President John Stankey as saying, “You don’t want to throw more gasoline on the fire.” That’s seemingly a reference to AT&T’s ongoing difficulties in delivering reliable bandwidth to iPhone customers who AT&T nevertheless has no qualms about continuing to charge quite healthy usage fees.
MacDailyNews Take: Well, John, at this point our patience is so far gone that we have absolutely no problem throwing more gasoline on our little fire.
The bottom line: AT&T has failed to deliver the tethering to iPhone users as promised within a reasonable amount of time.
Please contact the following artisans of bovine excrement and ask them how long we iPhone users have to wait for the tethering capability that their company began promising in in November 2008:
• Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President:
• Ralph de la Vega, President and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets:
• John T. Stankey, President and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Operations:
You’ve been publicly promising iPhone tethering would be coming “soon” since November 2008.
When do you plan on fulfilling your long-ago-broken promise, if ever?