Feeds

US iPhone ready to be tied down?

Tethering: believe it when you see it

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.