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Product News

iPhone Software 3.0 Gets Tethering, Except for AT&T

Apple announced that iPhone Software 3.0 will include support for tethering, or sharing your iPhone's Internet connection with your computer, but that feature won't be available to AT&T customers. The news came during Apple's World Wide Developer Conference keynote presentation, and was met with disappointment from attendees.

Apple's Scott Forstall didn't offer any explanation as to why AT&T wasn't on board with tethering support during the keynote presentation, and instead simply shook his head and moved on.

As if to add insult to injury, he reiterated that iPhone Software 3.0 will support MMS, and that most carriers around the world would support the feature as soon as the software update rolls out -- except for AT&T, where MMS support will be coming "later this summer."

The news comes as a disappointment to developers and iPhone users alike, since tethering and MMS support are available on a wide range of cell phones and smartphones -- in many cases for years. AT&T has not yet commented on why it won't offer tethering and is delaying MMS support for iPhone users.

7 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

rpaege said:

Just another reason to not do business with AT&T.  For a “premium” provider that company sure leaves a lot to be desired.  It’s overpriced and under-serviced.  Back to surfing with my Sprint EVDO card.

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fultonkbd said:

@rpaege…
No doubt. What a buster AT&T is.

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Dux5 said:

It’s an interesting move by AT&T. I don’t know the percentage of original iPhone contracts vs. 3G contracts. But, I’d have to imagine there are a significant number of folks like me who have 2-year contracts expiring in just a few days. I’m seriously thinking of putting my phone on T-Mobile (my carrier prior to the iPhone release) rather than getting a new phone and staying with AT&T.

I suggest we vote with our feet.

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Lee Dronick said:

There may be some politics going on between AT&T and Apple. AT&T possibly wants some sort of guarantee that Apple will not offer the iPhone to other carriers. As Frank Thring said, portraying The Collector, in Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, “We are dealing in subtleties here.”

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fultonkbd said:

I will never go back to T-Mobile for many reasons, but mostly AT&T’s has been solid for me.

I agree it might be some corporate positioning going on between Apple & AT&T. But damn you would think AT&T would be a bit more proactive when it comes to the iPhone. Hell they were willing to change their voicemail system for it.

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Tiger said:

AT&T will find a way to add a new data plan to include MMS and Tethering. A Premium Package if you will.

Until nobody buys it and Apple decides maybe it’s time to open up to other carriers.

Hint to AT&T, if you want to keep Apple and it’s customers (NOT your customers) you better not dawdle on this issue and fix it fast. You look weak and sad compared to all the other carriers worldwide who are already supporting these two features.

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tbone1 said:

AT&T/SBC blows. I worked at Ameritech when SBC took over. They are low-tech, cheap, treat their people like crap, treat their customers worse, and are probably the worst company I’ve ever worked for. (And I worked for a newspaper.) I don’t own an iPhone for one reason: it requires AT&T.

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