The Hot Question of the Month is “Can I Tether My Laptop with an iPhone?”, and the Answer is…
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Some of the most hardcore computer geeks – and those who simply can’t live without full access to the Internet for more than 5 minutes – wanted to know this about the iPhone: was it possible to tether a laptop or other computer with the iPhone? In other words, is it possible to use the iPhone as a modem for one’s computer?

And the answer is, unbelievably, no.


It seems almost inconceivable that Apple, of all companies, launched the iPhone without the ability to tether one’s laptop – say, oh, one’s Macbook – through the iPhone to connect it to the Internet, using the iPhone as a modem.

It seems particularly unbelievable when you consider that a vast number of other AT&T phones do have that ability. Perhaps even most.

So why, oh why, would Apple have so crippled the iPhone?

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iPhone defenders are often quick to respond with “why would you want to tether your computer to the Internet when you can just use the built-in Internet applications on the iPhone?”

And the simple answer is, if you are out and about and away from the office, yet still needing to work, would you really want to have to type several lengthy and accurate emails a day on an iPhone?

Or maybe, while out and about, you realize that you need to review something on a website somewhere, and sharp and clear as it is, that tiny iPhone screen just isn’t going to cut it.

 

Sure, there are certainly far more ‘average consumers’ who have no idea what tethering is, or that you can even do it, and who could not care less that they can’t do it with the iPhone.

But that’s not the point.

Because there are plenty of people who do know about tethering, and who do it regularly, and who have come to expect it from their cell phones, because nearly all smartphones can do it, and so can many not-so-smart phones, as well.

So why can’t the iPhone?

Now, does Apple care that some subset of potential iPhone customers will never develop into actual iPhone customers because of this glaring defect?

Yeah, I’m sure that Apple is crying all the way to the bank.

But still, it would be interesting to know why this now-basic function is missing from what is otherwise such a cutting-edge device.

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4 thoughts on “The Hot Question of the Month is “Can I Tether My Laptop with an iPhone?”, and the Answer is…
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  1. I was about to buy an iPhone yesterday. I could not believe that it did not have the option of tethering. I use my blackjack every single day to tether my home computer so that I have access to internet of a night. Why in the world would I pay two internet service fees at $40 to $50 a month when I am already paying for unlimited internet on my phone. My blackjack tethers to my desktop and I did a speed test with a 1.34Mb/second download result!

  2. AGREED. I BOUGHT ONE, AND HADN’T DECIDED IF I WOULD KEEP IT. BUT NOW THAT I HAVE RESEARCHED IT AND FOUND OUT THERE IS NO TETHERING, I WILL SELL IT. MY XV6700 IS A FAR BETTER PHONE IN ASIDE BY SIDE. I CAN ACTUALLY EDIT EXCELL, WORD OR ANY OTHER DOCUMENT FOR THAT MATTER, INSTEAD OF JUST VIEW AS PDF. I CAN ADD MP3 OR VIDEO IN STORAGE CARD, BETTER FASTER NETWORK, AND IT TETHERS. PLUS IT HAS A STYLUS, WHICH I LIKE BECAUSE I HAVE FAT GREASY FINGERS.

  3. I bought a iphone yesterday, and will be taking the phone back today because that is the number one feature i must have is to be able to tether to my laptop. Plus why do I want to spend additional money for another cell card because this neat toy isn’t business friendly.

  4. “But still, it would be interesting to know why this now-basic function is missing from what is otherwise such a cutting-edge device.”

    Why is 3G missing from it? Why doesn’t it have iChat or other common instant messenger applications?

    Basically, Apple created a phone with enough golly-gee-whiz in it to blind people to the fact that Apple and AT&T are seriously screwing you over in terms of features you’d expect from a high-end phone.

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