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Steve Jobs says 'No' to iPhone-to-iPad tether

(One) word from the mountaintop

Apple iPhone 3G S

Steve Jobs has spoken: Apple's "magical and revolutionary" iPad will not allow iPhone-to-iPad 3G tethering.

So reports the Swedish tech blog and podcast Slashat.se. When Swedish trance DJ Jezper Söderlund emailed Apple's CEO asking if a Wi-Fi-only iPad could tether to the internet using an iPhone's 3G connection, he received the following to-the-point reply:

No.

Sent from my iPhone

There's little doubt that the email message came from The Steve himself - 9to5Mac has the full email header, which appears legit. That header, by the way, also indicates that Jobs hasn't yet found time to upgrade to the latest 3.1.3 version of the iPhone OS, released early last month. He's still running 3.1.2.

Also, Jobs has been known to send the occasional pithy missive to regular folks - such as the time last November when he brusquely told a developer that obeying Apple's diktat to change the name of the dev's six-year-old app was "Not that big of a deal".

Although Jobs' terse reply seems to preclude any iPhone-to-iPad tethering, the decision to provide iPhone tethering is currently made by carriers. When iPhone 3.0 was released in June of 2009, it added support for tethering. In the UK, for example, O2, Orange, and Vodafone soon offered variously priced iPhone-tethering plans.

US customers, however, have not been as lucky - AT&T, the States' exclusive iPhone carrier, has been promising tethering for quite some time, but support for it has yet to materialize. As long ago as November 2008, Big Phone CEO Ralph De La Vega said that his company was working with Apple to bring tethering to the iPhone - but US customers are still waiting.

Whether iPhone-to-iPad 3G tethering will be a carrier-based decision remains unclear - that is, if there will be any wiggle room whatsoever in Job's unequivocal "No". ®

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