Newest Tethering Solution Tries an End-Run Around the Apple Store and Major Carriers
Last November 29 Tether launched a $15 app which allowed users, for a one-time app fee, to eliminate the need to pay additional fees for local wifi services or extra data plans. The app gave users access to their computer’s wifi using their smartphone data plans instead of paying more for tethering.
Within 20 hours of going live in the Apple store, the app was pulled by Apple, obviously under pressure from their carriers whose nasty, exorbitant monthly fees were being undercut by a $15 app which offered equal service for a fraction of the price.
Last Friday, iTether announced a new HTML5 based solution, which bypasses the need to download the app from the Apple store. The app can be ordered for an annual fee of $30 straight from the tether.com website. After a 10-15 minute set-up, you can access your computer’s wifi from anywhere your iPhone has cell coverage.
Other thwarted efforts to provide cheap wifi access have included the Handy Light, a sneaky little app which attempted to bury its tethering functionality in a simple $1 flashlight app. Handy Light also was quickly pulled from the Apple store, once Apple quickly realized its hidden function. Another $10 app, NetShare suffered a similar fate.
Tether’s $30 annual fee, while clearly much less expensive than paying for a major carrier’s monthly data plan, illustrates the higher cost of giving Apple the middle finger by circumnavigating their app store. It remains to be seen whether Apple or their carriers will find a way to pull the plug on this new tethering system as well.