back to article Steve Jobs says 'No' to iPhone-to-iPad tether

Steve Jobs has spoken: Apple's "magical and revolutionary" iPad will not allow iPhone-to-iPad 3G tethering. So reports the Swedish tech blog and podcast When Swedish trance DJ Jezper Söderlund emailed Apple's CEO asking if a Wi-Fi-only iPad could tether to the internet using an iPhone's 3G connection, he received …


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  1. Ian Ferguson
    Jobs Horns


    There goes the sole hope of me getting an iPad.

    I like the look of it, as I'm a fan of the iPhone OS and think it'll work very well in pad form. But I'm already paying O2 through the nose for my iPhone contract, so I refuse to pay extra for tethering or even a separate contract.

    I knew there was pretty much no chance of it anyway (Apple like to push as many fists as possible up us mere customers, so to speak).

    1. Gulfie

      This isn't just Apple

      Apple sell the device 'as is' with no mandatory tie. If anything it would _suit_ them that you can do these things. It'll be the telcos that are insisting on this so that they can sell extra SIM-only deals and get you to pay twice - for the same reason that the device won't take a standard size SIM.

  2. ceebee


    I have an iPhone, I might have considered an iPad but not if I am not going to be able to tether it to my iPhone.

    This is just stupid... maybe because of the phone companies but why are they so intent on screwing over consumers again!

  3. Alastair 7

    Of course there'll be wiggle room

    ...if you have a jailbroken phone. Plus, possibly, pad.

    But why anyone would need to own both devices is a mystery to me.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    good answers are usually short

    why pissing around the pot when you can use two letters.

  5. Annihilator


    From the iPhone blurb on the Apple website:

    "Now you can share the 3G connection on your iPhone with your computer and connect to the Internet anywhere"

    Ergo, the iPad is not a computer - thanks for settling that Steve, most of us already knew that though.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it

    Why would anybody add "Sent from my iPhone" to their message?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      re: I don't get it

      Because it's his, and you're entitled to know that.

    2. Campbeltonian


      It's the default signature on the iPhone Mail app.

      One of the first things I turned off.

    3. TeeCee Gold badge

      I do.

      Same reason as you get mails with "Sent from my Blackberry" at the bottom. The owner thinks that letting everybody know that they've got whatever it is will make everyone think that they also have a huge willy.

      It's very sad, but it's true.

      1. Annihilator

        More likely..

        The "sent from my blackberry/iphone" malarkey is a) free advertising (did you know hotmail does the same?) and b) it says to the recipient "please excuse my lack of a decent length email, grammar and spelling, what you're really receiving here is an SMS"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: I do.

        Hear Hear!

        Sent whilst driving my ferarri

    4. David Hearn

      because Apple wants you to...

      it's a default signature on the iPhone. I think you can remove it, if you dig in some settings somewhere...

  7. Jolyon Ralph
    Jobs Horns

    To Steve

    FUCK U

    Sent from my Jailbroken iPhone

    1. Anonymous Coward


      He's still got your money!

      Hence, You sir are a FOOL!

      sent from my pc.

  8. Rolf Howarth


    I'm curious why you'd want to tether an iPad to an iPhone, aren't they designed for use in different situations? iPad when you're looking up a recipe in the kitchen or watching a movie on the plane, iPhone when you're checking your emails in the taxi on the way to the station, that sort of thing.

    Certainly, there are occasions when I'd quite like to tether my laptop to my iPhone when I'm working on the train, but I'm not willing to pay the price O2 are asking for the privilege. I'm not sure how often I'd want to do that with an iPad though.

    1. Seanie Ryan
      Big Brother

      10000% agree

      how is this question even being asked by anybody with a grain of intelligence? Oh, forgot, its Reg Readers (damn, insulted myself there )

      If you think you will need mobile use of the iPad, then buy the 3G one.

      if you are stuck someplace with an ipad wifi and an iphone and need to do something online then USE THE FUCKING PHONE.

      But hey, for the 0.001% of geeks that will really WANT (not need) to do this, then tether your iphone to your mac, the use internet sharing to share the usb/bluetooth tether connection out via wifi. Then join that wifi network with your ipad , and hey presto.. you are online to upload your latest BeJeweled score!

      SImple. **

      ** the process & person

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Honestly, until Apple crippled their hardware and started charging people to use this feature I'd never even considered it to be an option. It's just something I've been able to do for years via various non fruity themes.

    What next, a special price plan for those who want to control the volume of the ear piece?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Do *not* give them ideas. Shut up. Go read a book or something.

    2. Rolf Howarth

      Re: Tethering...

      That's simple. Apple "crippled" their hardware because they had no choice. When they introduced the iPhone they could either do so on the standard data tariffs of the time (£1 per megabyte or something daft like that) or persuade the network operators to offer "unlimited" data tariffs so you could use the iPhone without worrying about usage, but the condition to be able to do that was "no tethering". If you're so smart, what would you have done in Apple's position?

      It's not an unreasonable position for the network operators to take either, as "unlimited" and "unrestricted" mobile bandwidth could very quickly end up being abused. Tethering is like going to an eat-all-you-want buffet and passing food through the window to your mates outside.

      Just because we all really want unlimited bandwidth and free tethering doesn't mean Apple and the telcos are evil, control freakish bastards for not giving it to us. (That's not to say they're NOT evil bastards, just that their stance tethering doesn't prove they are.)

      1. MeRp

        RE: Tethering...

        AT&T (The carrier that originally offered the iPhone; long before it was available outside the US) has had unlimited data plans for long before the iPhone was ever dreamed of. Tethering was something that you could do with this, but wasn't a marketing point. Then the iPhone came out, and suddenly tethering was some huge marketing point that everyone wanted, or something, so AT&T decided that it was something they could charge extra for if they only gave it some restrictions and a name...

        Not that it matters, you can still tether on AT&T if you are either willing to pay the outrageous extra special tethering rates OR you get the non-smartphone unlimited internet and pay the pittance they request for that.

  10. Dazed and Confused

    Sent from my iPhone

    Why do these damn emails always say this.

    Like who gives a flying F*&^% what you sent it from.

    1. Goat Jam

      Sent from my <insert brand name here>

      They put that crap as the default email signature in these things. You can easily remove it of course, but they bank on the fact that their customers will not know/bother thereby spamming their friends, relatives and business contacts with advertising for <insert brand name here>

      Flames, because marketing suits will spend eternity amongst them.

    2. Daniel B.


      My mobile e-mails say "Sent from my BlackBerry". I actually like that to be sent, so that the other person knows I'm not behind a PC and will probably take some time to take whatever action he requested as "urgent".

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I second that

        yep - I'm agreeing with you there, i leave it on mine so people can forgive the odd spelling mistake or very short replies.

  11. b166er

    2 letters

    to put round Steve's K..b

  12. barth

    doesn't the iphone do wifi -> 3g routing ?

    I think all winmob and droid phones do... don't iphones ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A way to try?

    Provided one has an iPhone and over the initial contract period one may agree with one's provider to go to text and calls only contract.

    That loses some of the mobility features of the iPhone but also helps one adjust to what wi-fi only is like.

    It seems quite reasonable to me so far.

    Can USB dongles work with iPad?

    1. Gulfie
      Paris Hilton

      In the words of St Steve...


      There are no USB ports to plug a dongle into. Of course if you have a laptop with a USB dongle you could create an ad-hoc wifi network on that, and join it from the iPad. That might work.

      Paris. She knows about having the right sockets available...

      1. Adam T

        No USB access

        iPad's USB (same as iPhone's) is closed off to unofficial apps. You'd have to jailbreak the device to read it, in which case this whole issue is moot anyway.

      2. Omer Ozen

        inquiring minds...

        And what is the point of having an iPad if you already carrying a laptop around?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    In simple terms...

    If you look at the history of the iPhone, it was primarily aimed at the USA market who dont use MMS or SMS half as much as Europe/UK. Cut & Paste? What do you need that for? Its not like youre typing anything of worth? Didn't people notice how, while the 'chat-style' messaging looks cute it's fairly pointless to people used to sending SMS's since.. oh I dunno... THE 90s?!.. but the functionality was implemented more like an afterthought for newbies than a proper useful feature. The original was also 2G because USA's 3G (continues to) sucked ass, nice one AT&T! (But that also enabled Apple to shove out their half-finished product and get everyone to buy it twice when 3G came along - clever trick that one)

    Finally Apple pulled out their finger and added semi-decent SMS and MMS, and eventually cut & paste, but still no SMS groups, or... dare I say, a method of multiple users/group selection for any kind of sane use like SMS or contact manipulation. So where is the no-brainer BlueTooth file/contact/photo transfer? Oh..? What was that? You thought no-one uses that either? WAKE UP JOBS!

    These are the kinds of things that ALL half-decent so-called 'smart' phones have been doing for the past 5+ years!

    So Apple, it's not cool, thats just sheer ignorance and you continue in missing unfathomable opportunities to capture a desperately hungry wider audience and decimate the opposition simultaneously! Get of your flippin' fat arse and sort it out!

    'Cause if you dont take the rest of the world into perspective, the jailbreakers will continue to show you what your own hardware is capable of, and most people will never reap the benefits. Full steam ahead iPhone/iPad DevTeam!

    1. John 62

      I like the chat interface

      Apart from not including group SMSs I find the chat interface very useful. Lets me see what has been said in the exchange of SMS.

    2. Shonko Kid
      Jobs Horns

      Good rant B+

      While I agree with most of what you say;

      "So Apple, it's not cool, thats just sheer ignorance and you continue in missing unfathomable opportunities to capture a desperately hungry wider audience and decimate the opposition simultaneously! Get of your flippin' fat arse and sort it out!"

      Except they seem to be doing rather well. From what I've seen people who are going to buy an iPhone/iPad are going to buy one no matter how much 'smartphone' functionality is left out, and give them their due, they seem to have picked the right things to leave out, not wasting time developing and testing functionality 90+% of their market base don't give a rats ass about.

      I guess the tethering is going to be a no-no as they'd have real difficulty ensuring that the 3G end of the deal was actually an iPhone, so the turtle-necked sweater dude is quite right in thinking, why pay someone other than me for your 3G? You want an iPad with 3G, buy the iPad with 3G. It's not that big a deal! (r) TM

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Not quite

        "I guess the tethering is going to be a no-no as they'd have real difficulty ensuring that the 3G end of the deal was actually an iPhone"

        They don't really need to do that at all. I run Joikuspot on my N97, which allows me to turn the phone into a wi-fi hotspot in about 30 seconds. Were I to purchase an iPad,then I could presumably use the N97 as a hotspot to access the 'net.

        Software like Joikuspot is not allowed in the app store, so an iPhone user could not do this. I think what they were asking was "Will there be a legitimate way of doing this when the iPad launches?".

        Essentially the "unlimited" data plan that comes with the iPhone is not really meant to be used anywhere other than the phone itself. The networks will be expecting something like 500Mb to 1Gb of data a month from most users and the price reflects that.

        The risk is that all sorts of "unauthorised" devices start using that connection once it's available, straining the already creaking infrastructure. Too much of that and you can wave goodbye to that unlimited plan with the iPhone, or pay a lot more for it - either way no-one really wins.

        Go find a price for an unlimited data 3G modem, take off about 20% and add that to the iPhone monthly bill to see how much it /should/ be costing.

    3. Anonymous Coward


      why is it that every article about the iphone has comments from losers complaining about how shit the iphone/apple/ipad is? if you don't like it, don't buy it. and if it does incredibly well and makes apple billions, deal with it. Obviously that firm is doing something very right.

      and accusing them of ignorance is foolish - do you think all of apple's engineers have not thought about adding the features you mention? of course they have, but they have made certain design decisions for reasons that must make sense to them. and so far it's working.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not scared

        It's called having an opinion. You might as well apply the same "logic" to your post.

        If you like the ipad so much why don't you just buy one instead of .....

        No. I like to read people's opinions, good or bad. Regardless of anything else. I suspect this was not a decision made by apples engineers. The technology is so boringly standard I struggle to imagine the engineers are so inferior to other manufacturers they can't implement it.

        So. If you want an ipad online, you need 3g hardware in your ipad and another contract. The need for both could be easily avoided.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        re: Scared

        Not scared, just exasperated. People who run round telling the millions of iphone fans that they're wrong? Kind of like the guy at the party who tells you how to drink a shot ("you should light it first", "no you shouldn't it burns the alcohol", "yes you should but you should light it in your mouth") - nobody likes that guy, they just want their shot.

  15. Wrenchy


    This reminds me of when I was 7, I asked my parents if I could do something. I would ask and wait fearfully as they sat back, crossed their arms, frowned, and replied "NO". I would be devastated.

    All the little iTards out there waiting fearfully for Evil Steve's response.... A thundering "NO".

    And they all broke down in tears. Devastated.


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh dear...

      Still not worked it out at seven. Explains your need to vent here then... do you still get flash backs?

  16. GKLR

    Mr J Probably wants to sell 3G iPads....

    If I can tether my iPad to my existing iPhone why would I shell out for a 3G capable iPad? I'd buy the cheaper WiFi+Bluetooth only iPad.

    Of course since the iPad is a content viewer whether I'll buy one at all depends upon the content available. I live in Australia, I don't read the New York times. I'll be interested to see what Australian newspapers and magazines are available via the iPad and will I be able to subscribe to them or do I have to manually download them every day/month?

    Come to think of it I would probably do the downloading at home in the morning before I leave so why would I need a 3G iPad anyway... Ops ...maybe Apple won't shift so may 3G iPads anyway.....

  17. David Edwards

    Shagged either way anyway!

    As you can only teather an iPhone if you pay more (like £18.99 per month) although id bet you can on a jail broken one, There is no good reason to teather it as opposed to getting a separate data contract and keeping flexibility. Thats not a good thing BTW. That said most normal phone contracts prohibit teathering (or Use as modem) anyway, its just that the iPhone is the first phone afak that enforces this for the vendor.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Poking the bear

    Saying 'no' (in this context) to a community of techies, coders, hackers, etc. is like saying 'I f*&$ing dare you!'. It is just a matter of time before someone somewhere writes an app to do exactly that which His Holiness Lord Jobs claims will be undoable.

    I smell a gargantuan FAIL approaching.

    1. max allan

      Or maybe he can't be bothered to pay for the dev effort.

      Maybe this is going to be a humungous "SUCCESS" in that he says "we won't do it". Not because he cares but because he can't be bothered to pay for the dev effort. Then some code monkey does it anyway and maybe makes a few quid on the app store, probably will have to do it through Cydia as Apple might not approve it.

      So Apple don't need to bother writing apps now, they just ship some bare hardware and all the fanboi developers do all the work of making it useful for them.

      I guess next phase is they ship an empty shiny box and let someone else fill in the hardware.

  19. Gulfie

    No surprise really...

    When you consider that Apple are using the little-used micro-SIM rather than the standard size that has been universal for some years it should not be a surprise that you won't be able to tether your iPhone and iPad. I'll bet that Apple puts some extra "if device = iPad" logic into the next iPhone firmware 'upgrade' to prevent this.

    The hardware is physically big enough that finding room for the normal sized SIM should be a non-issue. Therefore the only reason to adopt the micro size is to stop you slipping the SIM out of your (i)Phone or USB 3G dongle and into the iPad. Plain, simple, the only conceivable reason. Did Apple do this off their own back though? My suspicion is that they adopted this form factor in a deal with Big Phone/Death Star (call them what you will): "we'll stop customers from using their existing SIM card in the 3G iPad if you give them a reasonable pay as you go experience instead of insisting on a contract".

    Which sucks. Blatent consumer rip-off, pure and simple. Steve must have some pretty big ones to do this to the world with a straight face.

    I can forsee a trade in micro-SIM adaptors for the iPhone springing up, as well as lots of requests to mobile networks to change an existing SIM for a micro-SIM.

    Remember, in modern capitalism, no-one can hear you scream...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Jobs = Clairvoyant

    Jobs is a clairvoyant - I met him once in San Fran when I was delivering a Koala to his neighbour, Donald Trump.

    He told of his plan to replace all of his organs with those of much younger people who were willing to sacrifice themselves for the honour of becoming one with Jobs. By his estimates he'll live to 300, at which point he would need a brain transplant and would, thereby, essentially cease to be.

    He told me this while I was waiting for Trump to answer the door, and then he disappeared as soon as Trump finally arrived (naked, actually).

  21. nichomach
    Jobs Horns


    "Remember, in modern capitalism, no-one can hear you scream..."

    I should have said it was rather that they CAN hear you scream, they just don't much give a toss. Certainly, as a philosophy it seems to be working for the fruit factory...

  22. Jonathan White


    Something like the mifi would seem the obvious solution. Pretty cheap to buy and probably cheaper tariff than the iPad 3G.

    1. John 211
      Thumb Up

      Me and my MiFi

      You beat me to it...

      But I still don't know why anybody would even WANT an iPad (or even an iPhone come to think of it)...each to their own I guess

  23. Ben Rosenthal

    I suppose my comment was a little uncalled for

    cos even Apple fans don't seem to want to back this one :D

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "sent from my backside"

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Not tricky - already works


    use it every day to use my iphone 3g from my MBP.

    It'll work just as well from my iPad.

    Why do I need an iPad ?

    cause its made of aluminium and is shiny and I think it will make me look cool(er)

    why does a burd have 100 pairs of shoes ?

  26. iShorty

    iPhone 3.1.2

    Reason Job's still on 3.1.2 is because there is no jailbreak, we all know it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @iphone 3.1.2

      I realise you have the joke icon, but in case anyone less informed is wondering, yes, 3.1.3 can be successfully jailbroken - or at least it is on my iphone.

  27. iphonekids
    Jobs Halo

    Coolest iphone app ive come across.

    The best iphone app for 2010 so far for me is FastMall by Turn by turn guidance at the mall, find the bathroom quick and be taken to it, get deals, remember where you park, check in at the mall and stores, full community of features. So much fun :)

  28. Grumpytom

    Jesus you whine.

    Love him or hate him, SJ is certainly less verbose than a lot of these posters, but more wealthy, more well known and dare I say successful and visionary. If he had been as, evil, vain or as twisted as some purport then he might have had the signature,

    "sent from the iPhone, a product that a company I started has built and marketed with brilliance. However, we did NOT do this to piss you off; we did it to make money by giving users what they wanted"

    He made a phone and shook that market up, further he turned round and heads a company that's atop a pile of cash, he's not looking at M$ on "how to do it" and I guess he really couldn't give a flying fuck what you think - so get over him, Apple, the iPhone, the iPad, iPhoto iTunes, iMac, i this that and the other, the OS, size of the SIM et al and move on.

    Pointless critique is not valid.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      Isn't the "sent from my iPhone" the same server-attached signature as "send from my BlackBerry" and not, as spewed, user-specified?

  29. pctechxp

    If you're SJ

    You don't need to jailbreak it as he probably has his own configuration so can run what he wants.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Steve Job's only mistake with the Iphone

    was going with AT&T. Just got laid off from them after a year, but the insights I gained in that single year have just reiterated my personal belief that AT&T has been and will continue to be an aging dinosaur that should have gone extinct years ago. To AT&T, every measure of success is based on churn rates. Their customer service is the pits, as witnessed here:

    So if I had the opportunity to ask Steve Jobs a single question, it would have to be why did you choose AT&T as the carrier for the Iphone? Because by doing so, you allowed AT&T to continue to live on another day...

  31. Watashi


    @ Grumpytom

    "sent from the iPhone, a product that a company I started has built and marketed with brilliance. However, we did NOT do this to piss you off; we did it to make money by giving users what they wanted"

    Pissing normal people off is a fundamental part of Apple's marketing strategy. Take any Apple advert and you can read into the subtext this message: "Buy this Apple product because it will make you feel superior to people who don't own one." If you could convert smug into electricity, we could instantly solve Global Warming simply by hooking up all the Apple fanboys to the national Grid. Basically, Apple sells smugness.

    Of course, I'm happy that Apple exists - cutting edge technology is disproportionately funded by those neophiles who happily pay twice the final mass-market cost of a product just to get it a year earlier than everyone else. The funny thing about Apple products is that they stay twice the price even when the rest of the market has caught up. The first couple of years of above-the-odds iPhone cost covers the cost of innovation, and the rest is pure profit.

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