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Jobs: iPad can't tether to iPhone

updated 12:00 am EST, Sat March 6, 2010

Jobs answers iPad tethering bluntly

Apple chief Steve Jobs gave out a surprise direct answer to the question of iPad tethering tonight. After a Swedish fan e-mailed him personally to ask whether the Wi-Fi-only iPad could share an iPhone's connection, the company executive wrote back from his iPhone to answer a flat "no."

iPhone-to-iPad tethering wasn't expected to work as no Apple handhelds currently have options to receive a tethered connection unless it's already attached to a computer. Apple is also unlikely to enable such an option as the iPad with 3G potentially addresses most concerns.

The message from a reader is known to be accurate, according to the headers and routing information provided: while Jobs often has e-mail screened, the CEO is known to directly answer occasional questions when he feels a direct answer is necessary.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rgarza

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wonder

    what would he have said if asked,"Can I tether my laptop to my Iphone?"

    Wouldn't the Ipad be looking for any wi-fi signal that's available?

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Unless you jailbreak the iPhone. Then yes.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fill in the blanks

    I think what's important to note here is that this may be saying that the iPad cannot be tethered to any mobile phone. The iPhone "can" tether to a laptop, but in the US, AT&T does not allow it. There's a better discussion on this over at AI.

    It really would have been a nice option even if it required a special data plan for say use with the iPhone (though not ideal). I'm curious about what the breakdown between WiFi-only and 3G iPad sales are at the end of the year. While the 3G service pricing for the iPad is actually pretty reasonable, I would think many people that already have a data plan would be resistive to paying even that. My guess is that the people that get the 3G iPad will be heavy users, don't have a smart phone, or can easily afford it.

    For myself, I'm planning to get a Wifi-only iPad as I have an iPhone and can't see myself really using the iPad where I wouldn't have WiFi. And I have the iPhone to fall back on in either case.

  1. dwlayman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Slider" has described me

    I own an iPod touch, but am unwilling to pay the monthly cost for an iPhone (and don't need that much cell phone service in any case).

    But there are places where I do not have Wifi, where I could use service. At $14.99 for 250 megs, the 3G plan is a perfect price point for me. When I need more (like when I go on vacation this summer), I can increase it to unlimited service for a month or two.

    I can leave my laptop at home, and get 3G service in the bargain!

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    really bad decision

    Where I am (Canada) tethering is included as a part of the regular contract. It's part of my 6GB a month whether I choose to use it or not and all customers have it. It makes no sense that I can do this currently with my laptop but if I buy an iPad to replace the laptop I can't do it? The whole point of the iPad is that it's supposed to be something you might buy instead of the laptop. This is absolutely crazy.

    Apple is just giving thousands of new customers a reason to jailbreak their devices.

  1. skipwiley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe not "tether" but..

    Who's to say you wont be able to do bluetooth or WiFi to 3g routing with an iPhone, I see Apple's hesitance with actual cable tethering (I want to sync, I want to charge, etc..) but it seems that where applicable (come on AT&T and allow 3g sharing!) the technology is already there to do this, even things like the MiFi devices would fill that gap.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969



    One pick up a Verizon MiFi and then use it for all of your devices. Laptops, iPads, even an iPod touch.

    It's $60 per month, but cheaper than having 3G on all of the devices individually.
    (Just an idea)

  1. Raman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So g**

    Getting sick of having to pay multiple times to have internet access multiple times for multiple devices.

    Considering most and more stuff government stuff is really only available online (and there aren't enough computers at the library to support every citizen that wants to access the government), you'd think that the local government would be charged with providing internet access much the same way water, sewer, electricity are provided (for) as basic utilities.

  1. tobyfool

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iphone killer

    I'm planning on dropping several iphones in my company in favor of the ipad. We just switch phone service back to basic Verizon phones, no need for both.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sweedish "fan"?

    Fan of what? Do you mean user?

    - A

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