Feeds

US iPhone ready to be tied down?

Tethering: believe it when you see it

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.