Apple-approved iTether iPhone app bypasses carrier tethering plans

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new iOS application that allows users to tether their Mac or PC to an iPhone 3G data connection without paying a carrier for the ability was pulled from the iPhone App Store on Tuesday [updated].



As of Tuesday morning, iTether was still available on the App Store for $14.99. But later in the day, the application was pulled and can no longer be downloaded. It was a one-time charge, compared to the recurring $20 tethering plan offered to iPhone users by AT&T.



AT&T has previously cracked down on unauthorized tethering by iPhone users, an ability that can be accomplished by "jailbreaking" the handset to run unauthorized code. Those users have been warned by the carrier that they will be automatically charged for a tethering plan due to their high data usage.



But unlike previous jailbreak solutions, the iTether offering was approved by Apple for sale in its controlled App Store environment. Its removal confirms the approval was an error.



User interest in the iTether software for iPhone was so popular that the developer's official website has been brought down by traffic. That's a problem for those who buy iTether, as a Mac or PC client is required for the iPhone's 3G data connection to be accessed on a separate machine.







For comparison, those who buy official carrier-sanctioned tethering on their iPhone use the Personal Hotspot feature, which allows a 3G data connection to be shared with other devices over Wi-Fi. Personal Hotspot does not require any special software to be installed on a separate device.



The Personal Hotspot feature was launched earlier this year with the debut of the Verizon iPhone, and later came to GSM iPhones with the launch of the iOS 4.3 software update.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Hopefully this opens the door for cheaper, competing apps. $15 and no support for Bluetooth/WiFi = ripoff.



    Also, according to Mac Rumors:



    Quote:

    Update 2: Tether claims "We were very clear with Apple what our app did. They asked us a bunch of questions and then approved us." So it may not be getting pulled.



    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/29/...-one-time-fee/
  • Reply 2 of 91
    Now that most carriers have implemented a data cap of around 2GB, why should they care? The monthly charge is for 2GB and customers should be able to tether and use their data on their laptops instead of their phones.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Now that most carriers have implemented a data cap of around 2GB, why should they care? The monthly charge is for 2GB and customers should be able to tether and use their data on their laptops instead of their phones.



    Bingo!
  • Reply 4 of 91
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Now that most carriers have implemented a data cap of around 2GB, why should they care? The monthly charge is for 2GB and customers should be able to tether and use their data on their laptops instead of their phones.



    ...but we still pay $20 / month for an unlimited text messaging plan [$30/month for family], right? how much data is there in 10,000 text messages? one meg? maybe two?
  • Reply 5 of 91
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    I'll be surprised if this gets pulled. I'm sure this was much discussed at 1 Infinite Loop before being approved.
  • Reply 6 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    I'll be surprised if this gets pulled. I'm sure this was much discussed at 1 Infinite Loop before being approved.



    It'll be pulled before the day is out.
  • Reply 7 of 91
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    I'll be surprised if this gets pulled. I'm sure this was much discussed at 1 Infinite Loop before being approved.



    Sort of akin to iMessage. Apple is bending the pricing curve of the carriers. With limited data caps there is simply no reason not to allow tethering for free. Apple holds all the bargaining chips with carriers so is tired of losing sales to android because of the lack of tethering for free.
  • Reply 8 of 91
    I still think is is outrageous that I should get charged for data I have already bought. I get a fixed allowance of 500MB on my phone, why should they care if I use it through my iPad?
  • Reply 9 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Sort of akin to iMessage. Apple is bending the pricing curve of the carriers. With limited data caps there is simply no reason not to allow tethering for free. Apple holds all the bargaining chips with carriers so is tired of losing sales to android because of the lack of tethering for free.



    So, clearly, they've chosen to bend the carriers to their will by approving a crappy and laughably unreliable app produced by a highly-questionable third party. I guess flipping the bit that'd enable the built-in wi-fi tethering wouldn't have done the job, huh?



    Turns out, humans approve and reject apps for the app store. They come and go as they change jobs or get promoted. Sometimes, the new ones make huge mistakes. This is one such occasion.
  • Reply 10 of 91
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    The problem with this is the large number of unlimited data plans such as those who have had the iPhone since day one or early 3G days on AT&T- we don't get tethering.



    They include tethering for free if you buy the (I think 4gb?) option- but it's. $45/month! My company pays my phone, but I'm not gonna spend more a month for less data that doesn't future proof me. So- I don't get tethering. But an option like this would be INCREDIBLE for the unlimited guys- that's why I think it won't happen for long at all.



    Crap... If I wanted to be real cheap I could cancel my Internet to my house and still have laptop and Mac connection via tethering.



    I'll wait a month and buy it if it's around still . Any word if it works with a wifi only iPad?
  • Reply 11 of 91
    Gladly I live in the UK and get 2000 minutes, 5000 texts, truly unlimited data (with tethering included) for £35 a month (around $55-$60), bargain!!!
  • Reply 12 of 91
    hodarhodar Posts: 271member
    I travel with my iPad, and am forced to pay $20/month to Hotspot the iPad.



    Wish that there was a tether plan that would allow me to tether my iPad to my iPhone.
  • Reply 13 of 91
    1) I think we all know this will get pulled as soon as it gets a lot of interest online.

    2) As crappy as cabled tethering is, it would have been nice over T-day when my sister-in-laws DSL was out.

    3) There are still a lot of people that have kept their unlimited data plans.
  • Reply 14 of 91
    Handylight Does the same for less ($9.99) and is still in the store!
  • Reply 15 of 91
    Has anyone actually gotten the apps and tested whether it bypasses the carrier etc.



    Because if you look at the official language it actually suggests that it does not. That it is just providing a way to create a tethering connection to use your approved plan etc. Which could be why Apple allowed it
  • Reply 16 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brd841 View Post


    Handylight Does the same for less ($9.99) and is still in the store!



    Fake app. It's not the same as the one that was removed
  • Reply 17 of 91
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,037member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Big Brother 84 View Post


    I still think is is outrageous that I should get charged for data I have already bought. I get a fixed allowance of 500MB on my phone, why should they care if I use it through my iPad?



    Totally agree. I am grandfathered into the unlimited plan (for now). But even at 2GB--my new limit---why should they care how I use it? I actually would like to see some legal action here. They are basically charging twice for the same product.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    I wanna buy this but don't want it to be pulled. Decisions
  • Reply 19 of 91
    why would I want to tether my mac to my at&t iPhone, I barely have any signal ever!
  • Reply 20 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    Totally agree. I am grandfathered into the unlimited plan (for now). But even at 2GB--my new limit---why should they care how I use it? I actually would like to see some legal action here. They are basically charging twice for the same product.



    If you purchase a tethering plan thru a carrier you have a different bucket of data from what you are using for your phone. They are NOT charging twice for the same product.
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