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iPhone 4 Beta Shows AT&T Tethering 240

An anonymous reader found news that will strike fear into the hearts of every 3G user in NYC. "Apple released iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4 on Tuesday evening and it wasn't long before developers found the strongest evidence yet that tethering for US-based iPhone customers may happen sooner than later."
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iPhone 4 Beta Shows AT&T Tethering

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  • by imamac ( 1083405 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:53AM (#32263704)
    Because, unlimited data isn't really unlimited.
  • iPhone or AT&T? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShadyG ( 197269 ) <bgraymusic AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:03AM (#32263812) Homepage
    I have no doubt the device can easily support it, and may even have the software installed by default in the OS. The question is will it or won't it be disabled and hidden for US consumers by contract with AT&T?
  • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:06AM (#32263834) Journal

    Because, unlimited data isn't really unlimited.

    If it's anything like AT&T's current offerings, you'll pay $49/month just for the ability to tether, but you'll have to pay $5/month per website, plus $5/month (per "channel") to stream internet radio, plus $5/month for video, plus $5/month for 200 e-mails. It's unlimited alright. The only limitation is how deep your pocket is.

  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:06AM (#32263836) Homepage

    If a company has a device that doesn't support tethering, why would you buy their products if you want to tether it? Why hype-up that they've "finally" included the damn thing, when it's been a standard feature on phones since GPRS and Bluetooth were available (my phone does it and that was released in 2003)?

    If a network does not support tethering for your particular device, why would you join them if you one day hoped to tether?

    There are other companies, other devices, other networks that *do* support tethering. Stop hoping for half-arsed solutions, trying to "jailbreak" your phone to do that, etc. Just buy one of the cheaper, easier, simpler devices that supports it out of the box without getting in your way or voiding your warranty. The companies that make those devices obviously know what you want and, crucially, will have been doing it properly, for longer.

    And, besides, phone tethering is old-hat anyway. It costs literally a few pounds / dollars to connect a PC to a 3G always-on connection on a decent tariff in the country of your choice. Most laptops have options to have it built-in, or external devices can be bought for less than a meal-for-two. There are PAYG and contract data tariffs that work out more than cheap enough (providing you don't roam internationally on them, but that's the same for anything). They won't interfere with the use of your phone, won't be tied to your keeping a stupidly-expensive phone, are designed for the job and don't have the security / network-lock / price / etc. issues that tethering to an iPhone would.

    Stop being surprised when years-old features are suddenly "added" to products that should have had them (and technically *could* have had them for absolutely no price difference whatsoever) in the first place.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:11AM (#32263900)
    No thanks, I'll just do it for free on Android.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:15AM (#32263926)
    And Android, all you have to do is download PDAnet, and it doesn't come with a monthly charge. So why take baby steps with Apple/AT&T when you can walk like a man?
  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:21AM (#32263982)

    Which is why this:

    tethering for US-based iPhone customers may happen sooner than later."

    makes no sense.

    It's already "later".

    "sooner" was the release day of the first IPhone. It's been later ever since.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:36AM (#32264168)

    This doesn't sound new.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:38AM (#32264194)

    Talk to AT&T about that - in the rest of the world, ........

    One day the US consumers will wake up and relize that they they do not have the best phone system in the world or even a decent one. However I am pretty sure that the required dose of reality that will bring about such an epiphany is much greater than the FDA approved daily dosage for American citizens

  • by Em Emalb ( 452530 ) <ememalb@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @10:12AM (#32264594) Homepage Journal

    Unless you live in New York, where 5GB is the most you can possibly ever pull down in a month due to network issues and speeds. That makes it unlimited! Who needs thottling or limits, when you can just overload your network and overcharge your customers!

    WTF uses over 5GB a month on their phone?

    Seriously, has this EVER been an issue for anyone here? I'm asking because that's a shit-load of data coming across a phone.

    Are you downloading ISOs or something? Via your phone? WTF for?

    Look, I get the idea that its false advertising, unlimited damned sure should mean unlimited, but damn. 5GB? I don't know anyone who comes even remotely close to using that much per month on their iphone.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @10:45AM (#32265064)

    There was an interesting BusinessWeek article [] about the blessing and the curse that AT&T got when it got the iPhone. It was a blessing as it got many new, exclusive customers and moved itself into the front of US cellphone carriers. The curse was that the capabilities of the iPhone was overwhelming their data network. Part of the problem was that users of the iPhone were actually using it to surf the web like they would at home and the proliferation of apps meant that iPhone users could be constant 3G usage when they were not surfing whether they were syncing data or apps.

    I am guessing this is the main reason that tethering hasn't been allowed. AT&T's network would be in more serious trouble if it allowed it at this point. While this affects AT&T's network now, it will become more of a problem for all carriers as more and more consumers are buying smart phones. If Verizon got exclusivity with the iPhone everyone right now would be complaining of the same issues of Verizon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @10:47AM (#32265104)

    As one of the "inhabitants", yes it does suck out here.

      - Because of the "educated, urbane" folk who can't figure out when not to get in a kayak and go out in the ocean or put on flip-flops and start hiking the AT without any preparation, then eat up my local tax dollars trying to rescue their asses.
      - Because of the "educated, urbane" folk who move up because they like the quiet, then insist on expensive "improvements" to make the environment more like what they had before, and ruin the very things they moved here for.
      - Because of the "educated, urbane" folk who come to beautiful beaches, don't clean up their "educated, urbane" garbage, and insist on going home with "a few souvenirs" that were living creatures when they found them that they'll just throw away once they get home, and end up ruining the beach.
      - Because of the "educated, urbane" folk who bring their speedboats onto the lakes, ruin the shoreline with their wakes, occasionally kill a canoeist or kayaker, make massive noise at all hours, throw garbage and spew oil overboard, and refuse to clean their boats bringing invasive milfoil and other species that screw up the lakes and cost a lot of money to try and mitigate.

    Stop coming. If you want city conveniences, that's what a city is for. Buy picture books of the pretty places and put them on your educated, urbane coffee tables, and stop ruining them by showing up and going off the trails to find "that special spot" that 12,000 people a year have found before you did, and ruined in the process.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:14AM (#32265474)

    The second Americans figure out that things aren't as good here as it is in other countries...

    We just went through a year and a half of healthcare debates and no one got really upset that we pay out the nose for 2nd rate care.

    Do you really think that we'll give the same level of caring to lousy cellular service?

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:59AM (#32266064) Homepage Journal

    A Jailbreak and openssh is all you need to tether to the iPhone. :)

    The issue is that people buy the iPhone based on advertised features, and it wasn't until Apple starting moving to disable tethering (quickly bypassed trivially) that they added the * and a footnote stating "in selective markets." The problem is if you pay full price for a fully (officially) unlocked iPhone, Apple still will not give you the ability to enable tethering; they refer you to the carrier. The carrier refers you to Apple. The situation has improved somewhat if you have an "official" Apple reseller as your provider, but if you own an Apple-unlocked phone and don't use their blessed providers, you are still SOL.

    This problem began when AT&T and Apple in their joint press conferences announced each iPhone with all of its bells and whistles, and tethering being one of the key advanced features Apple was pushing (advanced? It is something other phone manufacturers have offered dating back to the late '90s by allowing the phones to be used as a modem, and later, many phone manufacturers allowed via a wired, wifi, or bluetooth network connection, passing the full bandwidth of the phone's data connection). Apple's yanking tethering pissed off a lot of customers who bought the iPhone with an advertised set of features, and then reneging after getting our money.

    This is NO different than the Sony PS3/Other OS issue. Remember the outrage when Sony yanked the feature, and many had purchased the PS3 to be able to run PS3 games, play blu-ray, AND run a basic Linux box as part of their entertainment center? Sony removed a key feature that sold many units.

    The difference here is Apple is FINALLY giving the functionality back after a lot of feedback over the last six months or so since they pulled it.

    Stop being surprised when years-old features are suddenly "added" to products that should have had them (and technically *could* have had them for absolutely no price difference whatsoever) in the first place.

    The iPhone 3G S had it originally, and Apple yanked it. They're just giving the feature back now.

  • by Paranatural ( 661514 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:01PM (#32266086)

    The real issue is that it literally costs the Telecos nothing at all to provide texting services. There's some extra space in the overhead with the cell phones communications with the towers. That's where they put the text messages (And thus the reason for the limit of the text messages length)

    So yeah, they could provide it for free. Easily. And eyah, they could charge for it. And do so.

    Issue is that if you don't have a plan, it can cost you, the consumer, up to $.50 a text message, and outrageously more for texting between countries.

    Why has the price gone from $0.00 up to these rates? Because no one can stop them. All the telecos raise their rates to match each other.

    This is why the tea partiers/free market fanatics are so very much misguided.

    In their ideal world, a service costing companies nothing at all and providing a good service to their customers would be free. Lambs would jump though meadows and butterflies would fly and the laughter of children could be heard.

    However, such utopias can never exist. In the real world, what happens is all the telecos raise their rates together, and screw the consumers. Do they get together and plan it out? No. They don't have to. There needs to be no communication. They observe each other, get the idea, and cooperate to fuck over the working man. People are basically cattle, and don't resist.

    The free market they envision would simply lead to tyranny by corporations. Oh, sure, some say 'Well there would be some government reglation to stop that sort of thing'. But in the flowery pictures of their little utopias they present, the government would be too small, too weak, and too dependent on these companies to actually have any meaningful authority over them.

    The massive overcharging for texting is simply an example of this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:35PM (#32266590)

    You don't agree that AT&T coverage has been good in the places where imamac has lived? Do you know him personally?

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:36PM (#32266604) Homepage Journal

    Because unlimited means without limits? If that's not what they want to offer then the lying weasels should quit saying it! Yes, my electricity is metered and they charge for each KWh. They do not, however, advertise unlimited electricity for just $30/month.

    They do this to make sure the consumer can't make informed choices. If the offer honestly said 5GB for $30/month and someone else honestly said 6GB for $40/month, guess what consumers would do? However, if they call 5GB "unlimited" They look better than the competition that actually offers more and the best the competition can do is join the liars club to look as good by calling 6GB unlimited (even though they're actually better and prefer not to lie).

    These people make the stereotypical used car salesman look like an angel.

  • by zuperduperman ( 1206922 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:02PM (#32272212)

    > When they make an Android device with non-crap hardware

    I guess you are trolling? Or living in some country with only the G1?

    Android hardware far outclasses the iPhone right now. I can barely use my iPod Touch any more because the screen looks so faded and fuzzy compared to the crisp screen on the Nexus One. This isn't really a criticism of the iPhone, it's just a fact of Apple's yearly product cycle - a year is a long time in technology and their hardware are nearly a year out of date now. The software is one thing, but saying you can't use Android because of the *hardware* is really weird.

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