In the brief hours that Nullriver's NetShare iPhone app was available on the iTunes store it generated quite a buzz. Apple quickly had the application pulled, even though Nullriver claims it never violated Apple's developer guidelines. Some have cited AT&T's terms of service as the likely reason for Apple's action. According to new rumors, a tethering solution may be on the horizon for iPhone users with no interest in jailbreaking their phones.
An online forum user allegedly received a brief email from Steve Jobs himself, stating that Apple was currently discussing iPhone tethering with AT&T. The carrier already offers tethered data plans for Blackberry devices on their network at an additional cost of $30 per month.
The question is whether or not AT&T's 3G network is ready to handle additional bandwidth, given all of the problems that have been reported by iPhone users across the US. Subscribers already pay an extra $10 per month for the iPhone 3G compared to first-generation iPhone data plans.
Tethering on the EDGE network is possible with a jailbroken iPhone and the right software, such as tetherkit. However, according to AT&T's terms of service, "plans (unless specifically designated for tethering usage) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to-computer accessories, Bluetooth or any other wireless technology) to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops)..."Until Apple and AT&T resolve the issue and make some type of official announcement, iPhone tethering will remain a clandestine activity.