Engadget: Ah, I thought this would happen and it really is happening. Read Google Will Force AT&T to Offer iPhone Tethering. I don’t know if Google’s Android 2.2 forced the issue or if Steve Jobs reality distortion field finally took hold of AT&T but with iPhone OS 4.0 tethering is on.
First, the data plans: they are a changing. The current “unlimited” (but actually limited to 5GB per month) is US$30 per month. AT&T will change that to DataPlus ($15 per month for 200MB) and DataPro ($25 per month for 2GB). You can still stick to the $30-per-month plan and can switch to these new plans at any time. If you’re on the DataPlus plan and go over the 200MB limit you just pay $15 for each additional 200MB. Now if you’re on the $25 DataPro plan you only pay $10 for each additional 1GB. Take a careful look at your bandwidth usage and see which plan best fits you. On to tethering.
Tethering is an extra $20 per month option for the DataPro plan. That means you’ll be charged $45 (plus a bunch of taxes and fees) per month to tether the iPhone. My guess is that if you’re a hardcore iPhone user and on the $30 per month “unlimited” plan it would be worth considering jailbreaking to tether. Personally, I think iPhone tethering is a bit too expensive especially since Verizon is offering a $30-per-month no-limit personal hotspot on Palm’s Pre Plus. Of course, the Pre Plus is no iPhone, but the iPhone tethering’s dent to the wallet is painful. But would you really need to tether an iPhone HD to you computer? With so many pixels (read iPhone HD: 960×640 Confirmed?) you could do most anything just on the iPhone HD. I wonder if you can tether the iPhone HD to the iPad…
This one is sneaky on AT&T’s part: the new data plan duo affects the iPad too. I guess the truly unlimited data connection on the iPad may have been too much to handle for AT&T and it will only stress the network even more going forward. If I had a 3G iPad with the $30 unlimited plan there is no way I would go for the new plans. The new data plans launch on June 7. iPhone tethering launches when iPhone OS 4.0 launches, probably in late June or July.