A question many potential Apple iPad buyers have been asking now has an answer: this upcoming tablet computer will not be able to tether to an iPhone.
One version of the iPad will be able to directly connect to AT&T’s 3G service, but this will require buying service for this device. The other version of this mobile computer will depend entirely on Wi-Fi for its Net access.
A reporter from Slashat.se asked Apple CEO Steve Jobs via e-mail about the possibility of tethering these two Apple product together, and got a succinct answer: No.
To Tether or Not to Tether
Although Apple itself supports tethering, AT&T continues to resist letting its customers use their iPhone to provide Internet access to other computers.
AT&T’s CEO promised way back in 2008 that a tethering plan for this smartphone was in the offing, but nothing is available yet.
iPhone OS 3.0 added tethering support, but this is missing from AT&T’s version. As a result, people outside of the U.S. can tether their iPhone, but not U.S. residents.
Those who have “jailbroken” their phone to get around the restrictions put in place by AT&T and Apple can tether.
An Overview of the Apple iPad
The iPad is Apple’s answer to the popularity of netbooks. It’s a device for someone who wants more functionality than a smartphone, but also wants a device that’s more portable than a laptop.
As there is no built-in physical keyboard, when on the go, users will enter text on the 9.7-inch, 1024-by-768-pixel, capacitative touchscreen. Apple will also offer a Keyboard Dock for typing (see image below), plus the iPad will support the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard.
This tablet computer will run the iPhone OS on a 1 GHz processor, and come with a suite of software for browsing the Web, exchanging e-mail, and watching video, as well as a calendar and address book.
It will also be able to run third-party software written for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as apps created specifically for this device.
In addition, it will be able to access the iTunes store to buy music, TV shows and movies, and games. A new iBooks app will let users buy and read books. This will feature titles from the New York Times Best Seller list.
The iPad is going to be 0.5 inches thick and weigh 1.5 pounds, and Apple promises a battery life of up to 10 hours.
Apple’s tablet computer will hit store shelves on Saturday, April 3. The first version to be released will depend entirely on Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet. Versions that can access AT&T’s 3G are scheduled for release in late April.
Those who want to be among the first to get one can put down a pre-order on March 12 for either version.