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iPhone 3.1 Update Disables Tethering

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the but-i-how-will-i-torrent-from-a-corn-field dept.

Cellphones 684

jole writes "The newest iPhone 3.1 update intentionally removed tethering functionality from all phones operating in networks that are not Apple partners. This is not limited to hacked or jailbroken phones, but also includes expensive 'officially supported' factory-unlocked phones. To make the problem worse, Apple has made it impossible to downgrade back to a working 3.0 version for iPhone 3GS phones."

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I think that (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 years ago | (#29413077)

Apple fanboys really enjoy tethering. Along with aby other type of bondage.

Re:I think that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413143)

Who the fuck's Aby?

Re:I think that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413251)

A close friend of Any

Re:I think that (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413317)

Apple customers are always good for a laugh. Week after week there are more restrictions and they still buy Apple. My theory is that Apple customer either love complaining or abuse. It's a good thing, though. We'd lose a lot of entertainment without them supporting Apple.

Re:I think that (0, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 years ago | (#29413443)

My theory is that Apple customer either love complaining or abuse.

In other words they like to take it up the arse both literally and metaphorically.

!Surprised (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413079)

No one is surprised enough to comment.

Buy a Pre (3, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413109)

Palm Pre (and Pixi) has a Homebrew community with a FREE tether program.

WebOS phones are Open Source OS phones, so the Tether capability can't be disabled as it's based on Open functionality, not a closed API.

in the US, a Sprint Simply Everything plan (includes Unlimited data use) is around $1000.00 cheaper a year to have.

So, you can have an Open Source phone with a real Homebrew community, a cheaper unlimited plan and have your Tethering program UNBLOCKABLE. Sounds like the Pre is a better deal all around.

Unless you are an isnob, of course.

Re:Buy a Pre (5, Funny)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about 5 years ago | (#29413157)

I love how you capitalized "Unlimited" as if it really were "Unlimited" I doubt in the dictionary it states the definition of Unlimited to mean "Without limit, except in the case of a 5gb limit"

Re:Buy a Pre (4, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413187)

No, I capitalized "Unlimited" because I have capsitis and tend to overuse the shift key. I was in a hurry to post and didn't spell/caps-check my post properly.

Sorry about that.

Re:Buy a Pre (3, Funny)

atheistmonk (1268392) | about 5 years ago | (#29413473)

(insensitive clod)

Re:Buy a Pre (4, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 5 years ago | (#29413269)

Is the equivalent iPhone plan truly unlimited? Or are you just going off on a tangent here?

Re:Buy a Pre (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413365)

Sprint's Unlimited data actually means unlimited...on phones. Their data cards and official tethering plans have a 5gb limit, but if you have the right phone and know how to tether it (WinMo can do it, rooted Android as well), you can download all you want.

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

glop (181086) | about 5 years ago | (#29413185)


how can it be a 1000$ cheaper? The Iphone's ATT plan is about 1000$ a year I believe (I don't have one so I never saw the bill...).
Could you elaborate?


Re:Buy a Pre (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413271)

From here: []

Individual Plan Comparison

Sprint Everything plans vs. AT&T Nation plans for iPhone 3G:

        * Lower cost: Sprintâ(TM)s $99 Simply Everything plan offers unlimited voice, data and messaging for $99.99; AT&Tâ(TM)s unlimited voice and data plan is $129.99.
        * Text Included: Sprint includes unlimited text messaging; AT&T charges $20 for individuals ($30 for families).
        * More N&W: Sprint includes unlimited night & weekend minutes starting at 7 p.m.; AT&Tâ(TM)s unlimited night & weekend minutes start at 9 p.m.
        * More Data: Sprint includes Blackberry Internet Service, Sprint Music Premier (50 commercial-free streaming music channels, 100 local stations), Sprint TV® Premier (25+ channels of live TV, on-demand clips and full-length episodes), NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile; AT&T does not include Blackberry Internet Service, streaming music channels, on-demand full-length TV episodes, NFL Mobile or NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile.

Family Plan Comparison

Sprint Talk/Message/Data Share plans vs. AT&T FamilyTalk plans for iPhone 3G:

        * More Minutes: Sprint includes 1500 minutes in its $129.99 Talk/Message/Data Share plan; AT&Tâ(TM)s $129.99 FamilyTalk plan includes just 700 minutes.
        * Text Included: Sprint includes unlimited text messaging; AT&T charges $30 for families ($20 for individuals).
        * Lower Cost Additional Lines: Sprint offers additional lines for $19.99; AT&T additional lines are $39.99.
        * More N&W: Sprint includes unlimited night & weekend minutes starting at 7 p.m.; AT&Tâ(TM)s unlimited night & weekend minutes start at 9 p.m.
        * More Data: Sprint includes unlimited GPS Navigation, Blackberry Internet Service, Sprint Music Premier (50 commercial-free streaming music channels, 100 local stations), Sprint TV Premier (25+ channels of live TV, on-demand clips and full-length episodes), NFL Mobile and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile; AT&T does not include Blackberry Internet Service, streaming music channels, on-demand full-length TV episodes, NFL Mobile or NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile.

You do the math.

Re:Buy a Pre (2, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29413325)

They changed their plan, the basic(Smartphone Basic that is) $70/month plan includes unlimited mobile-mobile now.

Re:Buy a Pre (3, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413387)

Good point. So it's even cheaper now.

Also, I should correct my original post. Another poster stated that the claim is over the life of the contract (2 years) not one year. This is correct, I apologize for any confusion. it's around $500 - $600 US a year difference, which is $1000 - $1200 US per contract term.

But that's still a significant savings, and given the choice, I'd pick a cheaper, more compact, True Open Source phone over the iShackle any day.

Re:Buy a Pre (2, Funny)

Chrisje (471362) | about 5 years ago | (#29413535)

I'd rather not, thanks, I prefer to think of myself as someone with a life.

Re:Buy a Pre (3, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29413565)

The fact that you're on slashdot is contradictory to your post.

Besides, it takes 10 seconds of middle school level math to do.

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29413275)

Palms $70/month plan includes unlimited data/texting/mobile-mobile(Any network) calls and 450minutes for landlines/business lines.

To get an equivalent plan on the iphone would cost near $120/month, the difference being $50/month or $600/year.

Re:Buy a Pre (2, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 5 years ago | (#29413343)

Palms $70/month plan includes unlimited data/texting/mobile-mobile(Any network) calls and 450minutes for landlines/business lines.

To get an equivalent plan on the iphone would cost near $120/month, the difference being $50/month or $600/year.

The employee referral plan, which the VP of Sprint has suggested anyone interested use (he even gave his email publicly for the referral form) is $60/month and includes a few features the $70/mo plan doesn't, I believe. Somehow the taxes are a lot lower than on my previous plans, too. I pay $63/month after taxes and fees.

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29413359)

Interesting, too bad I bought the phone already, this would have been nice to take advantage of, overall the Pre is a great phone. Very comparable to my 1st gen iPhone functionality wise, and better in many ways.

PLan comparison: tmobile may be even better (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about 5 years ago | (#29413519)

I use my iphone with T-mobile. for 1000 minutes it's $39. that's not unlimited, but I don't use that many minutes so for me it is. My data plan is $6.25 a week. I say week and not month because T-mobile lets you switch the data plan on and off at will without any impact on your plan (no new 2-year agreement). SO I only switch it on when I travel a few times a year. The rest of the time I just use WiFi for the internet. In my home town I really don't need to have google so bad that I can't just walk to a coffee shop or something to use the iphone. But on travel (especially in the car or public transit, or airport, or whatever you do need the web on the go sometimes for maps, car rentals, hotel reservations, dinner plannning, staying connected with the office).

So you might say, well yeah but sprint is unlimited and has an always on data plan. And I reply yes but I have an iphone which, presently at least, is unarguably more supported in terms of usability (apps and connectivity to easy itunes management and perifrials), has a high resale value, and uses a carrier with better coverage (including sim card conveneince for international travel).

FOr my usage pattern, which may not be yours, t-moble is by far the better deal cost wise as well.

Re:Buy a Pre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413197)

Or you actually want to be able to make phone calls and use data when inside your own home. Sprint's network is by far the worst network out there right now. I'm not saying the iPhone is the best bargain in the world (in fact, it sucks, big giant balls), but at least you're getting a somewhat usable network with it. The Pre is damned because they're partnered with sprint.

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 5 years ago | (#29413511)

I've only had problems with sprint when I'm way out in desolate areas (mostly parts of the UP of Michigan), or in area where there's significant signal blockage (my basement, where nobody's phone works well). Aside from that, most of Ohio and adjacent states work just fine for the sprint phones I've had (and the people I've known using them). Sure it's anecdotal, but at this point, even that's more than what you've provided.

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 5 years ago | (#29413223)

Or unless the Sprint coverage sucks in your area.

I live in a major metropolitan area, and unfortunately AT&T has the best coverage, by far.

Re:Buy a Pre (0)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | about 5 years ago | (#29413255)

Sprint everything plan is $99/month according to their TV advertisements. That comes out to roughly $1200/year.

A typical iPhone plan is about the same although you don't get unlimited voice since I don't believe AT&T offers it.

When people say the iPhone will cost them $2400 they are talking over the life of a 2 year contract. Simple math shows that the Palm Pre ends up about the same.

Re:Buy a Pre (4, Informative)

CXI (46706) | about 5 years ago | (#29413285)

Um, I've been doing that for a long time now on Windows Mobile using home brew ROMs. I really hate hearing about all these awesome innovations by Palm and Apple that I've been using for years, but nobody cares because it's Windows Mobile! I'm also on Verizon, so I've had faster and more widespread network coverage as well (at least everywhere that I need my phone to work in the US).

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413339)

Windows Mobile isn't Open Source.

If Ms cared, they could shut out tethering any time they wanted. Thankfully for you, they apparently don't care.

Re:Buy a Pre (5, Insightful)

CXI (46706) | about 5 years ago | (#29413533)

Windows Mobile isn't Open Source.

If Ms cared, they could shut out tethering any time they wanted. Thankfully for you, they apparently don't care.

You know what, I don't care if it's open source or not, because it does the job I want it to do. Plus, MS couldn't turn it off without disabling all network access for all apps. The tethering is an app just like a browser, a mail client or any of a thousand other OPEN SOURCE pieces of software written for Windows Mobile. Simply because they aren't all available in a handy little App Store doesn't mean they don't exist. You just actually have to do a Google search or two to find them.

Re:Buy a Pre (1, Insightful)

MistrBlank (1183469) | about 5 years ago | (#29413455)

I've homebrewed WinMO phones too. The major difference is due to the fact that it's an M$ product it's APIs aren't open, they're buggy and overall the devices run slower and are less customizable.

The end result is a phone that I spent a lot of time hacking whereas my iPhone basically did all that my xv6700 did. It only took 3 days to get to that point where I spent 6 months to get the xv6700 to a point where it was even usable, nevermind another year and a half hacking around.

Re:Buy a Pre (5, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 5 years ago | (#29413541)

So you had to spend 6 months disabling copy&paste, tethering, MMS, multitasking, A2DP and other features so that your Windows Mobile phone behaves more like an iPhone?

Now that's crazy stuff.

Re:Buy a Pre (5, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | about 5 years ago | (#29413543)

Some 5 year ago now I imported a Nokia E70 from overseas for use with T-Mobile. Not only did the phone support bluetooth and wired tethering right out of the box, but it had a generic SIP client that worked perfectly with my asterisk setup on the wifi network. T-Mobile eventually intentionally put a stop to unsigned clients (Read: My imported and unlocked phone) using their data network, which was when I dropped them. On the plus side coming from their data network makes AT&T look good, which I'm told is about the only way the AT&T service or data network could look good.

The Nokia E90 Communicator looks like an even better phone but we're not going to see it in the USA, presumably because it has similar features. Other than the shiny Apple interface and the difficulty with making it work with a US provider, the E70 was a superior phone to the iPhone for my particular needs. If I could be guaranteed that the E90 would work with a US provider and would not have its features intentionally brain damaged by the telcos, I would drop my iPhone in a heartbeat for one.

The technology has been there for years, it's the telcos screwing things up.

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 5 years ago | (#29413315)

As does Android. I installed wifi-tethering on my HTC G1 through the Android Market :) Also I have a cool keyboard on the phone (although honestly, I use my laptop to connect to it to do anything fancy)

Baseband locking (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about 5 years ago | (#29413337)

I was under the impression, perhaps wrongly, that apple was locking their phones basebands. That is the locking is occuring in the cell-phone part of the phone which has it's very own firmware and DSP not the main "operating system" CPU part of the phone. So this tethering denial may be just a side effect of the well known baseband locking that occurs when they lock the cell phone to a carrier class. The iphone Dev team has never cracked the Cell phone firmware.

I think it might be "pre"-mature to say the pre is completely open source. The CPU part of the phone might be, but does that assure that they won't permenantly lock the carrier class? I could imagine that some service providers might want Palm to do just that in return for subsidizing the phone.

We shall see. Right now there's not enough Pre phones out there for the main market let alone a gray market of re-banded phones to be siginficant. Apple did not start locking the phones this way till the 3G. the 2G phones supposedly, it is said, can't be locked that way. But I honestly don't know enough to argue the matter, I'm just repeating what i've gleaned on the iphone-dev team blogs.

Re:Buy a Pre (2, Funny)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#29413363)

Yeah... Except those Pre commercials are creepy as hell.

Re:Buy a Pre (0, Offtopic)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413441)

Yeah, Palm REALLY needs to fire their advertising company.

Although, the blond girl is hot, in that "Borg Queen" sort of way. If you're into that sort of thing, of course.

Re:Buy a Pre (2, Informative)

gabebear (251933) | about 5 years ago | (#29413427)

It really looks like Palm doesn't want homebrew tethering []

There are homebrew tethering options for pretty much every unlocked phone. People were installing proxy servers on their iPhones before Apple added their tethering option.

The Sprint Simply Everything plan doesn't include tethering, if you get caught tethering you will be billed $40/month(or whatever Sprint is currently selling tethering for). Where did you get the $1000 figure from?

Re:Buy a Pre (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29413555)

First of all, that's the OFFICIAL Palm Pre Dev Wiki, NOT the Homebrew scene. They have a few more restrictions on them as an official arm of Palm. It would help to actually RTFA you are linking to.

Secondly, While homebrew tethering programs are available for many platforms, most of those are NOT Open Source platforms and are easily locked out, much as Apple has locked out tethering on the iPhone.

Thirdly, Tethering isn't an "official" option for iPhone users either, as NONE of them are "officially" allowed by AT&T. So that point is stupid and moot.

Educate yourself a bit before you spout.

That's iSnob (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 5 years ago | (#29413521)

Unless you are an isnob, of course.

According to the iMarketing department, all iWords must be written with the second letter in iCaps.

the iSheep.... (1, Insightful)

pigphish (1070214) | about 5 years ago | (#29413111)

That love apple no matter what will flock to them anyway, pay, and not care (as long as its not Microsoft I can pretend I'm cool and tech savvy at the same time).

Let me be the first to say (5, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | about 5 years ago | (#29413113)

Fuck AT&T. I don't tether currently. I didn't cringe when I got charged $26 per line for "activation". I didn't cringe at signing a 2-year contract to get a phone for $300. I didn't even cringe at an "unlimited" data plan that limits downloads to 10MB files (which, coincidentally, is smaller than most of the apps on the "approved" app store).

Why is Apple sticking with these people. The overall user experience of an "approved" iPhone is significantly worse because of AT&T's behavior as greedy little fucktards.

Re:Let me be the first to say (4, Insightful)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | about 5 years ago | (#29413189)

Fuck AT&T. I don't tether currently. I didn't cringe when I got charged $26 per line for "activation". I didn't cringe at signing a 2-year contract to get a phone for $300. I didn't even cringe at an "unlimited" data plan that limits downloads to 10MB files (which, coincidentally, is smaller than most of the apps on the "approved" app store).

Why is Apple sticking with these people. The overall user experience of an "approved" iPhone is significantly worse because of AT&T's behavior as greedy little fucktards.

If you read the article you'll see that it's not just AT&T that Apple did it for. It's across all providers even if they have a legally unlocked phone and approved tethering in their contracts. I can only hope Apple gets a ton of bad press and negative feedback on this one and puts tethering back.

Especially since they are now effectively committing fraud: []

Re:Let me be the first to say (1)

IDIIAMOTS (553790) | about 5 years ago | (#29413331)

Well they Apple has this handy disclaimer on the page you linked - "Tethering is not currently offered in the U.S. and some other countries. See your carrier for availability". No fraud here as value of "some" now approaches "all".

Re:Let me be the first to say (1)

bgillespie (1228056) | about 5 years ago | (#29413495)

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that there's an ad for the iPhone 3.1 software update at the bottom of parent's linked page?

Re:Let me be the first to say (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413525) explains why your tethering stops working

Re:Let me be the first to say (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#29413545)

Not just fraud but breach of contract. The users accepted the iPhone EULA with the understanding that tethering would work. I smell a class-action suit.

Re:Let me be the first to say (1)

mikem170 (698970) | about 5 years ago | (#29413551)

Maybe they did it so the batteries would stop blowing up?

Re:Let me be the first to say (1)

vadim_t (324782) | about 5 years ago | (#29413265)

Fuck AT&T. I don't tether currently. I didn't cringe when I got charged $26 per line for "activation". I didn't cringe at signing a 2-year contract to get a phone for $300. I didn't even cringe
at an "unlimited" data plan that limits downloads to 10MB files (which, coincidentally, is smaller than most of the apps on the "approved" app store).

And that's precisely why you got such a crappy deal, which just got even worse.

Complain. Threaten to quit. If not listened to, quit, and explain why you did. And don't buy stuff that locks you into one unique provider.

I bought an unlocked phone precisely so that I could switch freely between carriers if it became needed.

Maybe you should have ... (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29413323)

I didn't cringe when ...

Why the hell not - any single one of these would be a show-stopper for normal customers on any other phone product.

Re:Maybe you should have ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413435)

I highly doubt that all of those combined, let alone individually, would be a show-stopper for normal customers. It all sounds fairly standard actually (from a Canadian stand point) except for the two year contract for the cheap phone (that'd be pretty sweet, most good phones require a 3 year contract in Canada).

Re:Maybe you should have ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413575)

I didn't cringe when ...

Why the hell not - any single one of these would be a show-stopper for normal customers on any other phone product.

Nothing is a showstopper for Mac fantards, they'd likely continue to evangelize the phone even if a new OS update gave them regular electric shocks when using the phone with non-official carriers.

Re:Let me be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413419)

Yes, this is all AT&T fault. Apple of course has nothing at all to do with this.

Re:Let me be the first to say (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | about 5 years ago | (#29413547)

um don't just blame AT&T shoot apple to. Apple is the ONLY cell maker who can walk in and say this is how you will deal with our product or you don't get it. Apple has much more control over how AT&T deals with the iphone then most think. Everything AT&T dose is effectively approved by apple so hey apple could turn around and say thats dumb change it but they don't. I am no AT&T lover but lets face it its not all there fault Apple has a LOT to do with it

Please boycott Apple! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413115)

This is why I refuse to buy any Apple related products.

That seems unfortunate.... (1)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about 5 years ago | (#29413125)

The inability to Downgrade to 3.0, not the tethering thing. It seems they do have this right,as tethering has never been supported, (EVEN ON OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED UNLOCKED PHONES). If you are tethering, you should know not to be an early adopter of any firmware update anyway.

Re:That seems unfortunate.... (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | about 5 years ago | (#29413205)

To me it looks like they tout it as a feature [] . Although, they do have a small disclaimer;

Tethering is not currently offered in the U.S. and some other countries. See your carrier for availability.

So if I lived in one of the "some other countries" with a vendor who sold factory unlocked iPhones and supported tethering, like Vodafone New Zealand, I would be filing against Vodafone (not Apple) for false advertising.

Apple won't listen to its customers, but it will listen when its foreign partners start suing them in retaliation.

Re:That seems unfortunate.... (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 5 years ago | (#29413539)

In in australia, and tethering actually activated after my upgrade today. Which is good, since I was paying for it, but it never activated under 3.0.

I guess maybe the phones are now checking rather than guessing or something.

Purchased Feature (5, Interesting)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | about 5 years ago | (#29413135)

Was this feature was purchased with the phone? I see a class action looming if so. Manufacturers do not hold the right to downgrade product after purchase.

Re:Purchased Feature (1)

sinrakin (782827) | about 5 years ago | (#29413191)

I also wonder about the legality. Unless the upgrade explicitly warns you that a feature is being removed, it seems that they're taking back some of what you bought. "Upgrades" are generally to fix things that the manufacturer wasn't able to get into the initial release that should have been there, or to fix dangerous bugs. If you bring your car in for a recall and they fix a problem but also remove the radio, you would certainly have grounds to complain and presumably recover damages.

iPhone is not a tool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413139)

Its a bloody fashion accessory. Don't expect it to perform like a tool.

Cant say that I am suprised... (1)

Zantac69 (1331461) | about 5 years ago | (#29413151)

For all of the functionality and cool stuff that the iPhone does - we all know there is more that is CAN do. is with Apple and Microsoft - they will hamstring and do what they "think is best" for you all in the name of customer "support."

I was inches away from gettin an iPhone 2 months ago. Now...I am not so sure now. My SonyEricsson W810i still have some legs in him.

Wait for 3.2 (1, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29413163)

In 3.2, they're including a printable coupon for your very own Steve Jobs replica wang, coupled with a couple of apples as the veg.

For the authentic Apple experience.

Re:Wait for 3.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413559)

Hihi, Insightful, Hihi...

FCC may be interested (5, Insightful)

headhot (137860) | about 5 years ago | (#29413177)

So the FCC has started looking into unfair business practices of cell providers. This could be a smoking gun. A 100% legal unbundled phone that will only support tethering on a single providers network, that previously did support tethering.

Re:FCC may be interested (2, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | about 5 years ago | (#29413277)

Tethering was never supported in the US. So the FCC would have no interest in this particular case.

Re:FCC may be interested (1)

sydney094 (153190) | about 5 years ago | (#29413567)

It could if you bought a 100% legit unlocked phone overseas, brought it to the US, signed up for service with tethering and then lost it when Apple pulled it away. Or, if you managed to buy your phone outright from AT&T/Apple w/o contract, and lost tethering.

Then again, the number of people who did that are probably too small to be of much interest to the FCC.

Good old Apple.. (0, Troll)

NeuralAbyss (12335) | about 5 years ago | (#29413179)

Fuck AT&T and Apple with a rusty razorblade.

There's no good reason to disable tethering on foreign networks, apart from Apple being greedy cunts.

I'm quite glad I have a non-Apple UMTS device, but I do feel sorry for all the poor bastards that bought into the hype. And the limitations imposed after-the-fact.

Re:Good old Apple.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413237)

as happy blackberry user who often got bashed by iphones-yuppies i'm happy. Revenge can be sweet...

This is why (1, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 5 years ago | (#29413183)

Google's android will win out. MS locks you into crap expensive software, while Mac locks you into crappy expensive networks.

Re:This is why (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29413307)

The only crap, expensive software I have on my Diamond 2 is... Erm... Oh, wait, I downloaded a cooked community ROM with all of the rubbish removed and installed the apps I use. The WinMobile community is HUGE, with a large amount of free software for the platform.

XDA Developers [] is somewhere you want to look before considering purchasing any smartphone, especially one you want to toy around with.

Re:This is why (1)

headhot (137860) | about 5 years ago | (#29413327)

yea except no out of the box tethering on that phone either.

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413335)

There's not even proper bluetooth support for android or even tethering, I know because i have one and it sucks.

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413425)

Not just Android. Palm, Nokia, etc all offer much more open systems.

Meh, it's Apple and why I will never buy anything from them. Every single piece of Apple hardware I have ever owned has broken at one point or another (including 3 iPods, an iMac, iBook, etc). That's just shoddy engineering if you ask me.

Re:This is why (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#29413437)

MS doesn't lock you into any software, GG. Also the amount of totally free stuff out there is pretty huge. The only problem is the amount of phone options you get screws with ap compatibility some.

Noooooooooo way in hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413195)

am I going to buy an iPhone!  Thanks Apple, I'm 100% sure now!  No phone is sexy enough to put up with this sort of crap!

Apple embraces Evil(tm) (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#29413213)

After bricking unlocked iPhones, kicking applications off the iPhone store that might even slightly compete with anything Apple or AT&T might vaguely think about in the far future and filing a wave of patents on basic well-known computer science, Apple Inc. today filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission declaring that it was openly adopting Evil(tm) [] as a corporate policy.

"Fuck it," said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls, "we're evil. But our stuff is sooo good. You'll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It's shiny and it's pretty and it's cool and it works. It's not like you'll go back to Windows Mobile. Ha! Ha!"

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft was incensed at the news. "Our evil is better than anyone's evil! No-one sweats the details of evil like Microsoft! Where's your antitrust trial, you polo-necked bozo? We've worked hard on our evil! Our Zune's as evil as an iPod any day! I won't let my kids use a lesser evil! We're going to do an ad about that! I'll be in it! With Jerry Seinfeld! Beat that! Asshole."

"Of course, we're still not evil," said Sergey Brin of Google. "You can trust us on this. Every bit of data about you, your life and the house you live in is strictly a secret between you and our marketing department. But, hypothetically, if we were evil, it's not like you're going to use Windows Live Search. I mean, 'Bing.' Ha! Ha! I'm sorry, that's my 'spreading good cheer' laugh. Really."

Re:Apple embraces Evil(tm) (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 5 years ago | (#29413471)

Damn, where are my modpoints?

Re:Apple embraces Evil(tm) (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29413537)

Congratulations, you win at The Internet.

I remember... (2, Insightful)

neowolf (173735) | about 5 years ago | (#29413243)

...when I actually wanted an iPhone. Glad I never wasted the money. Why would anyone want to buy something thats capabilities change almost monthly at the whim of Apple and AT&T? It still can't do things an old Moto RAZR did five years ago. The iPhone was relegated to "gadget" status at my company earlier this year (meaning they won't support it as a communication tool for managers). Now it seems to be failing in the gadget category as-well. I really don't even know who to blame anymore- AT&T is an obvious target, but Apple is responsible for a lot of this too.

Not an issue of AT&T, Apple, or "Fanboys" (5, Funny)

Trifthen (40989) | about 5 years ago | (#29413247)

... but of entertainment for the rest of us. Seriously, this is hilarious. It's like being back in high school again and watching the heartrending saga of Jill and her cavalcade of BFFs finally have a tragic argument destined to elicit tears at every juncture. For the participants, tears of frustration and despair, and for the viewing public, tears of laughter.

I mean, really.

Apple: "Our new phone is awesome!"
Fans: "Yes, it is! Wait... where's cut and paste, and media messaging?"
AT&T: LOLwhat?


Apple: "We now have cut and paste... kinda! And the phone is faster!"
Fans: "Yay! Wait... I want a refund on the difference!"
AT&T: "I'm sitting this one out!"

And now...

Apple: "We now have tethering, and media messaging!"
AT&T: "No we don't! In fact, you're killing our network by using the extra capacity you paid for!"
Fans: "I'll cut you!"

I just... don't even know what to say. Kudos, to all participants. You've provided more drama than money could buy, and for that, I thank you!

*sigh* ... (1, Offtopic)

Sonic McTails (700139) | about 5 years ago | (#29413259)

I'm no Apple lover (nor do I have any great love of Microsoft), but I can at least say Microsoft was never THIS bad with Windows Mobile nor did they lock you down into this kind of ecosystem of control. At least you could write your own programs from Windows Mobile and extend it all you want without Microsoft trying to break you (or being obsessively married to the carrier). Apple-fanboi's take note: I can take control of any other smartphone (Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Android*, etc and get it to do what I want) * - Android phones DO lock out root on non-developer devices, which is unfortunate, and T-Mobile has brought down the hammer on tethering apps in the marketplace (although you can still install them manually).

Swinging back to the Blackberry... (1)

mattr (78516) | about 5 years ago | (#29413287)

As posted recently I really wanted an iPhone because of the big screen (big Blackberry not available here, only Bold) but was going to get Blackberry because it allows tethering, my friend said. Then I found out iPhone could too. Oh, okay I go to buy an iPhone last week.

THANK GOD I did not buy the iPhone. I lucked out since they need special papers to buy through my company. Now I'm just going to sit back and watch the fireworks until Apple rolls over. Someone should tell them what happened to Amazon when Jeff stole 1984! (Which reminds me of a famous Apple TV ad... Listening, Steve?)

For the record I went into a store yesterday looking at a new loaded Macbook Pro to go with my planned iPhone, my first return back to Apple since leaving it some years ago for Linux and Windows. I always remembered how Apple screws its customers, going back to the Apple III (yes I had an Apple II Integer Basic/Pascal too). A LONG time Apple lover, who dared to return but NOOOO! Tough love indeed. I was going to run XP in virtual pc instances on the Macbook but it is starting to look like corporate crap sticking out of the corners. I had no idea the iphone would be invisible from the Mac!

Apple. It (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 5 years ago | (#29413297)

Except when they don't want it to.

Meh (0, Troll)

His Shadow (689816) | about 5 years ago | (#29413303)

I'd like to get all hot and bothered, but I just can't. I have a legal data bundle with tethering included for which I have paid. Apple is not calling all the shots in this game, they have to at least pay lip service to providers wishes. If that means people not on explicit data plans with tethering get shafted, it's a hiccup. I'm sure it will get fixed. But don't let that stop anyone from going all fscking crazy about the imaginary freedoms they never had on other platforms until Apple changed the smart phone game.

AAPL should be forced to forefeit the iPhone name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413309)

Apple should be forced to forfeit the iPhone trademark, and rename it the Battered Wife Phone. Because iPhone users suffer from Battered Wife Syndrome.

Apple only takes away my features because they love me!

Re-possession of already purchased functionality (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 years ago | (#29413345)

Can they do that?

Ha ha, just kidding. Welcome to America.

It's worse. (3, Interesting)

anethema (99553) | about 5 years ago | (#29413367)

It is actually worse than this for 3.0 lovers. Apple is refusing to sign any more firmware images pre-3.1. This means if you have a problem and need to restore, you WILL be upgraded to 3.1, even if you just want to restore your 3.0. There is (as of yet, and speaking to the dev team maybe forever) no solution around this problem. You only hope would be to have grabbed your signing keys prior to the 3.1 release(or just keeping a 3.0 image around downloaded within itunes), which is something beyond most of the population.

Unfortunately, the 3.1 update also removes any ability of an unlock because they upgrade the baseband as well. I use the term upgrade loosely because they removed most of the minicom commands the baseband will accept to limit their exposure to exploits.

That being said I'm happy with my iPhone because I'm in the small minority of people who jailbreak their phones and don't hit update until a dev team member has a solution for me to upgrade without losing the functionality I've come to enjoy.

Re:It's worse. (1)

anethema (99553) | about 5 years ago | (#29413383)

Ah crap, sorry to reply to my own commend, but I forgot to mention this signing issue only applies to the 3GS. 3G firmware images are unsigned.

The only thing you lose if you upgrade the 3G without pwnagetool is losing the ability to unlock (again, possibly forever).

interesting (2)

binaryseraph (955557) | about 5 years ago | (#29413379)

What is funny about this, is that people are defending Apple and attacking AT&T over this. As if Apple was taken advantage of. I think we are starting to see the real underbelly of the mac beast. This is their product and you WILL use it how they tell you to.

shocked i say (2)

strack (1051390) | about 5 years ago | (#29413391)

really, im not surprised apple is doing this sort of thing. their hardware may be good, but their totalitarian control over the software environment ruins it. it lost them the personal computer market, and it seems they havent learned that lesson.

Tethering on AT&T was a hack (4, Informative)

diamondsw (685967) | about 5 years ago | (#29413393)

A hack that has been disabled at AT&T's request, just like it would be on any other phone that has updates. Apple didn't "remove a feature" - the iPhone can still tether just fine - as long as your carrier supports it.

Does it suck? Hell yes. Is it unexpected? Hell no.

This was in all of the betas, and known about two months ago. If you were "in the know" enough to install a hacked carrier profile on your device, then you should have been following closely enough to know not to install the update. (Oh, and the Pre and it's "free" homebrew community? What about those mandatory updates that install themselves after ten days? And the data collection Palm does? Apple doesn't even do either of those.)

Throw this down at AT&T's feet, not Apple's. Apple certainly has no interest in you tethering or not. If anything, it makes their device more valuable, so they have an interest in allowing it. But clearly AT&T would rather rape you at an unspecified future date for an unspecified amount of money. All the more reason for Apple to leave AT&T as soon as possible.

Not news (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#29413409)

This isn't news this is apple being apple. Not at all surprising. Apple makes most of their money by making things specifically not work. Like DRM, I know itunes stopped mostly now but they are the ones that spread DRM in the first place.

MAC WORLD story time again! (5, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#29413447)

I've always been a PC at heart.

Not like the rest, the others. Everyone around me. I was at odds with my society and knew it early since birth. Unlike them, I did not "Think Different!"--the mantra of the Macs around me, the phrase on all the billboards in the city that served as a reminder to its citizenry. Sameness pervaded the essence of my being and no amount of self-conditioning I did could change that. Eventually, I gave up and isolated myself emotionally from society.

I gaze at the faces going by, the white earphones contrasting their black turtlenecks, connecting their ears to their pockets, their blank faces engrossed in hip Indie rock music and various garage bands. I envied them for their perfection against my flaws and my compulsive nature to expand, to burden my life with troubles instead of remaining, like them, simple and easy to deal with. The grandest of virtues, simplicity... the philosophy by our loyal benefactor Steve Jobs, who descended from the heavens, creating the Earth, the iron, the wind and the rain. Steve Jobs, who defined the parameters of existence, the one who set about the patterns of reality, the constants, the variables. He who made gravity, electromagnetic energy, and shaped atomic structures and brought forth motion. From these things, he crafted the elements, processed them, refined them, and from these things engineered Apple products through the purity of his mind. Each Apple product was individually crafted by his own hands with the programming code used to run each device having being compiled in his brain and uploaded to each device telepathically, breathing life and perfection into each and every unit.

Except, it seems, for me, for I was not among the many. I was a PC. They were Macs. I've always been a cold, stiff person. I got by, disguising myself by keeping my non-Ipod music player safely out of sight, which I use because of my depraved nature demanding more functionality than the simple and easy-to-use Ipods have to offer.. In the safety of my own home, behind locked doors, I ran a Forbidden, a contraband computer from more depraved, earlier days that was not given the love and blessing of being birthed by Steve Jobs. I dual booted, out of the great sin of curiosity-- curiosity, a shameful value of a PC, as curiosity has no place where simplicity matters most--using two of the great unutterable blasphemies-- something called "Windows Vista" and something else called "Linux." Although, as I mentioned before, although my tendency to be a PC and towards conformity has always been inherent to me, I was truly transformed when I found these old things in a hidden cache of computer parts predating The Purging. Perhaps the greatest sin of all, the single evil that, if discovered, would damn me forever, was the fact that my mouse had more than one button.

As I walk among the Macs on the streets, passing the Starbuckses as I went along, I wondered how it all came to this. I glanced at The Holy Marks on the foreheads as the people wandered down the streets, the Bitten Apple tattooed on all our of us at birth, and wondered if, perhaps, there could be something more to life. But again, this was a PC's thought, and not, like everyone elses', a Mac's. We were to hold ourselves to the philosophy of Steve Jobs--so as his products were designed for idiots, so too were we to be idiots. But I was not a Mac--I was not an idiot. I was simply too complicated to be a worthwhile person.

Nature called. I found a nearby public iPoo--squeaky clean and sparkly white, things weren't all bad--and let myself go, expelling the waste that had accumulated inside me. After relieving myself and committing the overly-complicated and thus illegal act of wiping my ass (I did not flush as iPoos, designed to be idiot-proof, did not flush) I left and once again wandered the streets aimlessly, hoping to find some meaning in a world where I simply did not belong, a world where if my true nature was discovered, I would be endlessly persecuted by smug, self-righteous sons of bitches.

Re:MAC WORLD story time again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29413569)

Doesn't work as satire, humor, or commentary. Go take an English class.

Uh. y'all sure its been disabled? (5, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 5 years ago | (#29413475)

Weird. Tethering is on my 3.1 phone. Not sure whats happening to you folks.

General menu -> Netowork ->Tethering -> On.

About says:
Network: YES OPTUS (australian carrier)
Line: Virgin Mobile
Version: 3.1 (7C144)

I'm on the developer program so maybe developers get extra goodies?

i cant stand (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 years ago | (#29413491)

mac fanboys crying about their expensive telephone and masquerading it as a slashdot article. i especially love how the submitter stated "very expensive" when describing the unlocked phones. you didnt buy a macphone for the cost savings, so stop acting like its suddenly an issue.

the cognitive dissonance here is mac users are starting to realize no matter how great a guy steve jobs is for the I culture, Ma bell will always have the last word. no, they dont share the mac philosophy of innovation and ease of use because it goes against their closed system of regulated service. you knew this when you owned a regular cellphone before you bought the i-phone and continued to ignore it. you knew the telco was screwing you for the cost of the phone, the cost of the data service, and the support but you ignored it because of the cool factor.

heres your tipping point: dont like it? stop buying it. innovation or no, if its at the cost of your freedoms which you so easily discard time and time again, is it really worth it? This device isnt designed to further the culture of mac or innovation, its designed to make money. its designed to use the mac brand, the mac cult, and steve jobs to make money. had AT&T a say, they would just as soon abolish advanced features and run everything off AS400's for all eternity but the customer constantly demands more, and they see the tie-in with apple as a chance for branding.

There is no freedom on smartphones (4, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | about 5 years ago | (#29413503)

So deal with it already, and quit with the hysterics. There's been Nothing New To See Here for years now.
  • iPhone: Single vendor/carrier in most areas, with significant lock-in. Tightly tied to iTunes on the desktop and the app store. Jailbreaking possible, of course, but it can be fragile.
  • Pre: Single vendor/carrier, with significant lock-in. Mildly less application lock-in with homebrew hacking, but not all that different from iPhone jailbreaking. OS updates are mandatory so this can change at any time (they're installed automatically after ten days). Palm collects obscene amounts of data on its users, so goodbye privacy.
  • Android: "Free" - until you try to get root access, and then we're back to fairly involved hacking again. So as usual, only as free as they let you be.

So yeah - NONE of these phones are remotely free out of the box. All of them can be hacked to do what you want with them. Pick your poison.

That's it... (0, Troll)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 5 years ago | (#29413515)

...I wasn't gonna do it, but I'm jailbraking my shit again. Not because I need the added functionality, but because it's currently the only method I have to bite my thumb at CrApple (besides not buying their products...but they are just so PERTY and SHINY!!).

What could possibly have motivated this? (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 years ago | (#29413573)

Could it be the abusive wireless companies? No... they have shown time and time again that they do not improperly influence or direct Apple to do any of the things they have done lately such as removing the Google voice suite from the App store. Nope! Not a move pushed by AT&T and all the congressional investigations will show is that they didn't do it and/or don't "recall" doing it. That of course depends on the definition of what "it" means.

Cue the Apple apologists and the others who say "well? don't buy an iPhone!"

What about the poor souls who bought one with expected functionality and had it only to have it yanked out from under them.

What is really wrong here is the lines of ownership. Once someone owns something, is it proper for the previous owner to change and manage how you can use it? Sure, users don't "own" the software, but that is a matter of question there as it has been shown in other instances that copyright holders don't always have the right to control how a work is used. (yes, I know there are exceptions such as playing a DVD in a bar/club... but frankly, I don't think that limitation should be allowed either.) With every push like this, the rights of consumers are being trampled and removed. This is a big and growing problem. Consumers need to push back.

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