iPhone Tethering Cat-and-Mouse Game Continues

By  |  Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 10:14 am

MacRumors reports that the latest iPhone 3.1 beta 2 OS release breaks hacks that allow AT&T customers to tether their phones to their PCs for wireless access. As all iPhone enthusiasts know, “legal” tethering is available in most other countries already, but AT&T hasn’t yet rolled out the feature to US iPhone customers.

It’s not surprising the latest OS update breaks tethering hacks. Since the introduction of the iPhone, there has been a cat-and-mouse game between Apple/AT&T and hackers looking to make their phones a little more open than allowed under the iPhone operating agreement. Most hacks are wiped out by new OS upgrades, but are quickly re-hacked by enthusiastic coders looking to expand the iPhone’s capabilities and access functionality not yet officially available on the device, like video capture on the iPhone 3G (prior to the 3.0 OS release).

The tethering hack though seems to be more of a stick in the eye to AT&T. Obviously, the iPhone is fully capable of supporting tethering via USB or Bluetooth, but customers say AT&T is dragging its feet when it comes rolling out the service. There is also the issue of how much extra change a tethering plan will cost iPhone customers, who already shell out $30 for unlimited data service. Other rumors peg tethering plans ranging from $10 to $55, depending on the source. AT&T has shot down the rumors though and says more details will be forthcoming as the unannounced launch date gets closer.

Personally, I want the MMS functionality turned on first. It’s ridiculous that my fancy iPhone can’t send or receive a picture message, but my wife’s basic cell phone on another network can.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. AdamC Says:

    Personally i don’t find what the big deal about MMs and tethering… They only add up the cost of owning a mobile phone.

    ATT is very worry about the usage of bandwidth and with all the works you think you need and everyone using them may bring down their network.

    BTW if you really must MMS use a cheap phone like your wife.

  2. JoshA Says:

    I agree with the columnist. It’s ridiculous that it can’t MMS.
    ATT needs to stop dragging it’s feet. I know that as soon as Verizon has
    the iPhone I’m going to say goodbye to ATT!

  3. Ryan Says:

    AdamC, are you really that blind”? Do you not see that these are ridiculous limitations?? EVERY iPhone owner I know is dying for the MMS support. The tethering issue is also a huge drawback.

    But to have a phone as robust as the iPhone and be missing basic functionality like MMS is lunacy. I know plenty of people who have actually held off in buying them because of these limitations.

    And what a solution! Sure, let me go backwards and lose all the great features of the iPhone for MMS support… Get a new contract, throw the iPhone away… Awesome idea. Why would anyone think that maybe the simple functions that are available in the most inexpensive phones should also be in (my opinion) the most technologically superior phone on the market???

    I guess all us iPhone owners should just get new phones and lay off AT&T…