Apple may be working with AT&T on iPhone tethering plan

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is discussing with U.S. wireless carrier AT&T the possibility of offering iPhone 3G users the option to purchase an additional data plan that would allow the handset's 3G connection to be shared with notebook computers.



A $10 application called NetShare from iPhone software developer NullRiver briefly enabled this functionality earlier this month but was subsequently plucked from the App Store by Apple after AT&T expressed its disapproval.



In an email to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on August 4th, shortly after NetShare's disappearance, one iPhone owner argued that it's "ludicrous" that a tethering option is not offered alongside "such an advanced device."



The owner pointed out that AT&T offers this option to users of Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones for an additional $30 per month, and said he'd be willing to shell out the extra change each month for the same luxury.



In a response via his iPhone, Jobs is reported to have said: "We agree, and are discussing it with ATT."



AppleInsider has worked to verify the authenticity of the email passed on to gadget site Gizmodo, as it does with others alleged to have come from the Apple co-founder. It can confirm that the transmission originated from an Apple I.P. and via the same D-class as other responses from Jobs known to be authentic.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 164
    jsonjson Posts: 54member
    I would love it if this would also lead to a piece of software that would work "the opposite way" of NetShare, that is, the iPhone creates the "ad-hoc" network and the computer(s) can join it.



    Seems somewhat easier to use than the current solution, even though NetShare works well when set up correctly.
  • Reply 2 of 164
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    It was not right for them to remove NetShare. That was a crappy move on part of AT&T (which I believe to be the one to have had the say on pulling it). I was lucky enough to get it.
  • Reply 3 of 164
    djbetadjbeta Posts: 30member
    It was ridiculously poor management on Apple's part to allow NetShare to be sold in the first place if they were going to pull it in the way they did.



    Um.. where is my mother F**in refund Apple ?

    and yes, I want this from you and not NullRiver



    AT&T... you're idiots.



    Although... let's agree on something... I don't think their network can afford any form of additional activitity until they upgrade it.. add more cell stations or something... I was at the US Open yesterday and couldn't use my dang iPhone.



    Personally, I don't think Nullriver's app is the best.. you need a way to keep the iPhone awake in order for the app to work well... additionally.. you can only use a few apps on your computer.. you can't use things like VPN, Skype, etc.



    I think THE ANSWER is : 1. allow full wireless or wired tethering for $10 a month and 2. upgrade your network AT&T





    we pay too much for this phone plan already to charge an extra $30 a month



    or at least have a tiered plan for tethering.... like: $5 per 50 Mb of usage



    listen up!
  • Reply 4 of 164
    luvosxluvosx Posts: 50member
    Just plug a usb cable up the cellphone's undersides and the other end to the PC and bingo.

    What the heck is this drama about charges and the rest ?

    I am paying for the device, I am paying for the net - why pay extra for using the net I am paying for already ?

    This is like saying - "Oh, you have comcast high speed internet, you can't use your wireless PC with it - that will be $45 extra".

    Morons.

    And to top it off, their network is nothing but crap.

    I'd rather by an AirCard from Verizon for the same prize and have better coverage.



    Aside, why does the iphone not have a bluetooth based syncing or OBEX yet ?
  • Reply 5 of 164
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    And you will know....my name is the LORD....when I lay my Vengeance upon thee!!! LOL
  • Reply 6 of 164
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    The owner pointed out that AT&T offers this option to users of Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones for an additional $30 per month, and said he'd be willing to shell out the extra change each month for the same luxury.]



    One way or another you will get capped. If they do offer tethering, they will secretly disconnect you every couple of minutes - and if you complain, they will make up some excuse like that a passing vehicle must have caused interference. We already have unlimited data on the iPhone it is just impossible to actually take advantage of it because of the poor network quality. I think they really just want to keep VoIP off their wireless network.
  • Reply 7 of 164
    It makes absolute sense that they are discussing it. What makes little sense is that AT&T's policies are conditioning Apple's policies in countries where other cell companies are allowing tethering in the first place. (Not to mention the fact that the extra $30 AT&T would be charging is unreasonable, in my opinion.)



    Maybe there were some technical difficulties in rolling out the tethering function from the start in a way that's more convenient than what NetShare provides (or I should say provided, perhaps). But if a more official tethering solution is in the iPhone's future, after the whole NetShare fiasco Apple should have been a bit more open about its intentions. It would have saved people (users and developers) time and money.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luvosx View Post


    Aside, why does the iphone not have a bluetooth based syncing or OBEX yet ?



    Better yet, wi-fi snyching Ã* la Apple TV. My guess is it will come. My other guess (based on Apple's more or less recent behavior) is that more features will be released in time. And as much as I would want something right away, I'd rather wait a little longer (say a month or two ) for something that works, instead of having it right away and spending the next few months complaining that it doesn't (or trying to find solutions).
  • Reply 8 of 164
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    One way or another you will get capped. If they do offer tethering, they will secretly disconnect you every couple of minutes - and if you complain, they will make up some excuse like that a passing vehicle must have caused interference. We already have unlimited data on the iPhone it is just impossible to actually take advantage of it because of the poor network quality. I think they really just want to keep VoIP off their wireless network.



    They don't have to do that. Apple and AT&T can create the tethering application and use bluetooth instead of wifi while limiting the bluetooth connection speed.
  • Reply 9 of 164
    Since July T-Mobile Germany allows its iPhone users to buy up to 2 so called Multi-SIMs (at one time fee of $30 each) and use them in any other device and share all minutes and SMS and data across them. They all ring to the same phone number but its great to use one card in a 3G DataCard with a laptop.
  • Reply 10 of 164
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post


    Since July T-Mobile Germany allows its iPhone users to buy up to 2 so called Multi-SIMs (at one time fee of $30 each) and use them in any other device and share all minutes and SMS and data across them. They all ring to the same phone number but its great to use one card in a 3G DataCard with a laptop.



    TIM in Italy has had a multi-SIM option for business users for quite a while (at least 10 years), to the advantage of those who bought those "novel" car radio systems with GSM support (that was before Bluetooth). If I'm not wrong, they go for ?7 a month. Add that to the cost of a datacard, it's still an added expense that I'd rather avoid.
  • Reply 11 of 164
    Today people whine at the prospect of paying an extra chunk of money for tethering, down the road they will whine that AT&T's network is continuing to struggle with its load. $30 is a perfectly reasonable data plan as it is equivalent to that of other smart phones--and iPhone users are using more data than anyone else. If we get tethering through AT&T, it will probably also be at a competitive monthly rate. There is absolutely no reason why an iPhone user should expect special treatment in these regards.
  • Reply 12 of 164
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post


    There is absolutely no reason why an iPhone user should expect special treatment in these regards.



    As a non-AT&T, non-U.S. user, I'm not expecting any special treatment. I'm expecting to be able to tether (if technically possible, whether or not using NetShare) at no additional cost, since tethering was available at no additional cost when I was on a SonyEricsson P990i or a Nokia 6630.



    And yes, I was fully aware of this lack when I bought the iPhone, so I'm not really complaining. I just wish this impasse would get solved at least where AT&T should have no word on Apple's business.
  • Reply 13 of 164
    To do this on my T-Mobile phone in the US, I have to buy the $20 to $25/month Internet service. I've done this before when traveling and then when done, get rid of the service.
  • Reply 14 of 164
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by antiorario View Post


    As a non-AT&T, non-U.S. user, I'm not expecting any special treatment. I'm expecting to be able to tether (if technically possible, whether or not using NetShare) at no additional cost, since tethering was available at no additional cost when I was on a SonyEricsson P990i or a Nokia 6630.



    I wonder if the concern in this regard is simply that Apple hasn't added the tethering capability to the iPhone's software. They may be focusing on the US market first, and since carriers in the US are a bunch of jerks, tethering probably hasn't been a top priority. Hopefully they get this sorted out soon. As soon as the tethering capability is added to the software one would think it would be available to less crotchety carriers around the world.
  • Reply 15 of 164
    Only in the US could a mobile provider get away with a rip-off like this- it's almost as bad as having to pay to receive calls.Why on earth should you pay extra to use your mobile account in this way?
  • Reply 16 of 164
    I'll see if I can cancel the credit card transaction where I paid $10 for NetShare. If we all did this, perhaps heavy handed marketing people at AT&T would get the hint that WE pay their salaries.
  • Reply 17 of 164
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SonomaCider View Post


    I'll see if I can cancel the credit card transaction where I paid $10 for NetShare. If we all did this, perhaps heavy handed marketing people at AT&T would get the hint that WE pay their salaries.



    Excuse my ignorance, but why would you do that? Are you saying that your NetShare doesn't work on AT&T?
  • Reply 18 of 164
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Steve Jobs in answering a lot of emails these days. I wonder if he's gotten a phone with email on it, or something?
  • Reply 19 of 164
    By releasing Netshare, then pulling it - Apple and at&t got a free market study. I have to say, I would hope there isn't widespread tethering if the 3G network couldn't handle it while maintaining a good user experience for those surfing with the iPhone. Apple and at&t may be forced to offering tethering now that many will be doing it anyway with Netshare or other methods on jailbroken iPhones.
  • Reply 20 of 164
    tmedia1tmedia1 Posts: 104member

    HTML Code:
    "LISTEN UP -- Apple and AT&T !!!!
    It was ridiculously poor management on Apple's part to allow NetShare to be sold in the first place if they were going to pull it in the way they did.

    Um.. where is my mother F**in refund Apple ?
    and yes, I want this from you and not NullRiver

    AT&T... you're idiots.

    Although... let's agree on something... I don't think their network can afford any form of additional activitity until they upgrade it.. add more cell stations or something... I was at the US Open yesterday and couldn't use my dang iPhone.

    Personally, I don't think Nullriver's app is the best.. you need a way to keep the iPhone awake in order for the app to work well... additionally.. you can only use a few apps on your computer.. you can't use things like VPN, Skype, etc.

    I think THE ANSWER is : 1. allow full wireless or wired tethering for $10 a month and 2. upgrade your network AT&T


    we pay too much for this phone plan already to charge an extra $30 a month

    or at least have a tiered plan for tethering.... like: $5 per 50 Mb of usage

    listen up!"
    Totally agree.



    I won't buy an iPhone (even though I'd really like too) because:



    1) No tethering option with iPhone is a deal breaker. Currently my Sprint-Palm 755P does a fantastic job of tethering to my MBP and I use this feature regularly while traveling.



    2) ATT seems to be having problems with their network penetration and bandwidth for 3G devices. Especially now that they have so many more 3G iPhones on their network, makes me think that staying on Sprints CDMA 3G may be a better option. Although this is just my casual observations.
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