Feeds

US iPhone ready to be tied down?

Tethering: believe it when you see it

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The latest iPhone OS has options to enable tethering, not to mention a custom-dictionary editor and a control to stop the screen spinning around every time you lie down.

The next version of Apple's iPhone OS is now in its fourth beta, and the interwebs are thrilled to see that it appears possible to use an iPhone as a GSM modem - though one shouldn't get too excited given the same feature appeared, and disappeared, during testing of the last OS version.

iPhone tethering - connecting a laptop to an iPhone for internet access - has been promised to Americans, and delivered to everyone else, for years. The option appeared in beta versions of iPhone OS 3 only to vanish again before general launch, as C-Net reminds us, but now it's back with a dialog prompting customers to contact AT&T to enable tethering.

Needless to say no other smartphone platforms have any problem with tethering, and most feature phones can do it these days too.

The problem isn't technical - the iPhone is perfectly capable of routing internet traffic - but in the USA AT&T is reluctant to let punters connect laptops over their unlimited-data iPhone tariffs. Introducing a "tethering fee" is the obvious solution, and that's what O2 et al do in the UK where tethering is encouraged.

However, AT&T seems concerned that charging punters more would make the company look bad, so the best option is to keep promising and never deliver.

Kowtowing to AT&T's preferences is the price Apple has to pay for the subsidy AT&T provides. Last week Engadget reminded us that Apple and AT&T signed a five-year deal back in 2007, so if that's not been updated since then AT&T could be calling the shots for another two years and tethering in the US could continue to be the promised feature that never arrives. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.