RUMOR: Apple and AT&T prepping iPhone tethering plan

“According to a pretty legitimate-looking email thread from one of our readers, Steve Jobs may have responded to complaints that, since the pulling of NetShare from the App Store, iPhone-to-laptop tethering is impossible without jailbreaking one’s phone,” Mark Wilson reports for Gizmodo.

MacDailyNews Note (added: 9:52am): Tethering in this case means using your iPhone as a modem to connect your Mac – or heaven help you, Windows PC – to the Internet.

According to the rumor, an iPhone user sent Apple an email stating that since AT&T offers data plans for BlackBerry that include tethering for an additional $30 per month, he’d be willing to pay for such a service for his iPhone. And, supposedly, Steve Jobs responded via email, “We agree, and are discussing it with ATT.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Roger’s already offers iPhone tethering in Canada, so it’s possible that AT&T wants to add tethering in the U.S. Perhaps AT&T first wanted to work on getting their network more optimized for the millions upon millions of iPhones hitting it before they will add an official iPhone tethering plan?

56 Comments

  1. @scottm

    Tethering means using a chellphone’s data connection to provide internet access for a computer. Typically, the cellphone appears to the computer as a modem and the connection process is similar to using a modem. Bluetooth can be used for the phone-computer link, although sometimes carriers limit the connection to cables.

    Another way to think of tethering is that it allows a cellphone to act as a data modem rather than requiring a dedicated ExpressCard device.

  2. John, don’t worry your pretty little head about it…

    just know that I invented it.

    Oh, and tomorrow the world will be engulfed in a flood. That is, unless we all stop breathing… and start eating tofu & kelp… and use $50,000 windmills to power our houses. Yeh, that’s the ticket.

  3. Its a good thing I have NetShare… I will use it only in an event of an emergency, and I currently have the enterprise data plan so my cap is much higher than the “retail” user.

    I can do this in a pinch, or I can use VPN and Teleport to log into a secondary desktop in my office. Either way I’m covered…

  4. That’s because our VanFruniken misspelt the word; it is tethering.

    Acting as a hub for WiFi means that with a special app, such as the now no longer available NetShare, yout iPhone can be turned into a WiFi hotspot. Essentially, it shares its 3G internet connection over WiFi, much like what you could do on your iMac by sharing your wired (Ethernet) connection over AirPort.

    I am still trying to understand why a user would have to pay extra for tethering from AT&T;. This reasoning used to make some economic sense from the carriers’ point of view; users were using little to none of their data plan with their cellphone/smartphone, and when they tether their laptop to the phone, data usage suddenly goes to the roof. However, with iPhone the data usage with a laptop won’t make much of a difference on their network.

    Once again, carriers’ greed rears its ugly head.

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