We talked this week about the new data plan changes that AT&T has made and the fact that it will finally allow us to tether our iPhones for data access. I guess AT&T liked the idea of giving us all the chances we need to run into those massive data overage charges. One of the things I had hoped we could do was use the iPhone for data access on the iPad.
AT&T have announced sweeping changes to their mobile data plans, billed by the company as a way to make selecting a plan more straightforward to consumers, but also killing off "unlimited" packages. The carrier has also confirmed that it will be offering iPhone tethering, which will arrive alongside the Apple iPhone OS 4 update later this year, and that its "unlimited" iPad data plan will no longer be available for new users. Full details of all the packages after the cut.
If we weren't already excited by the prospect of a faster smartphone experience when Android 2.2 Froyo arrives, the news that the updated OS packs native tethering support would be enough to get us chomping at the bit. According to TechCrunch, Android 2.2 will deliver not only USB tethering - allowing for a wired hook-up from your phone to a netbook, notebook or other device - but WiFi hotspot functionality, basically turning your device into a MiFi-style mobile router.
Starting January 14th, Vodafone will start selling iPhone in UK. With two years contract and wireless plan that cost £35-a-month, a customer would be able to pickup an iPhone 3G for free. Those who wants the iPhone 3GS, would have to signup for a wireless plan that cost £45-a-month for the 16GB, and £75 a month for the 32GB; same contract length required.
Vodafone limits monthly data transfer to 1GB each month, however it provides unlimited WIFI for its customers. As for users who want to tether their iPhone, Vodafone will charge £5 a month for 500MB data transfer.
Verizon's apparent intention to show up AT&T and the iPhone at every turn continues, with the latest snook to be cocked being confirmed tethering for the Verizon DROID by Motorola. According to the CDMA carrier, early 2010 will see the Verizon Broadband Access Connect plan arrive on the Android slider, likely priced at the usual $15 per month on top of your regular data contract.
Apple's latest iPhone OS, version 3.1, may bring along with it Genius recommendations for applications and ringtone downloads, but it also takes away tethering functionality with non-Apple-partner carriers. While that may not come as a great surprise, given Apple's dislike of jailbroken and unofficially unlocked iPhones, the new firmware also blocks tethering for those using "official" unlocked handsets.
There's a lot happening this month, but we're sure you're keeping good tabs on it all. And there's no chance you forgot about Apple's event coming next week, right? Of course not. But, just in case you weren't excited enough already, get ready to have those socks knocked right off your feet. That's right, it may be coming: MMS.