Tethering on the iPhone: Not What it's Cracked up to be
So I realize this is yet another blog post on Apple products, but as an iPhone, iPod, and MacBookPro user (I joined the dark side almost a year ago, switching from PC to Mac), I now find myself getting excited each time Apple comes out with something new. Never before in all of my computing lifetime, have I used technical tools that have software updates that provide amazing new features. So when I found out that AT&T is going to enable iPhone tethering, I was beyond thrilled. But of course, like all conveniences Apple creates, tethering is going to come at a price – and a big one. iPhone users will have to choose between tethering and an unlimited plan. You can’t have both.
Apple is getting ready to launch iPhone OS 4 this summer, and once that happens, tethering will be available for new and existing iPhone users. AT&T will offer different Data plans that will allow subscribers to pay an additional $15 – $30 per month for 200MB – 5GB of monthly data usage. Those who purchase the next model of iPhone that comes out, will not even be eligible for an unlimited data use plan, but current users will still have the option for the unlimited data-plan, or the tethering plan, but not both.
So is this the fault of Apple or AT&T? Evidently, this is the doing of AT&T who complains that iPhone customers consume most of the data capacity. AT&T argues that this will actually save 98% of it’s users at least $5 per month. Because of the massive demand with the iPhone, this could lead to the need of another carrier to step in and level the playing field – Verizon Wireless. Steve Jobs confirmed that this could be a possibility in the near future.
So will tethering be advantageous for it’s users? If browsing the internet on a computer takes a lot more data than a phone, you can bet that exceeding the caps that AT&T has put into place will be easy to do. What should be a celebratory feature for iPhone users, is now a nuisance and not what it’s been marketed to be.