Developers asked to stop tethering talk on Palm Pre

Sprint won't allow Pre tethering; AT&T won't say when the service will come to iPhone

Palm Inc. has "politely" cautioned a developer forum not to allow online discussions of tethering with the new Palm Pre.

Sprint Nextel Inc., the lone wireless carrier for the Pre, does not allow tethering with the smartphone. Sprint has an exclusive contract with Palm to provide wireless voice and data service for the Pre through at least the end of the year.

Tethering gives a user the ability to connect a wireless device to a laptop via a cable or Bluetooth, and to use the device as a wireless modem to provide browsing and other capabilities to the laptop. Carriers have been concerned about losing monthly revenue for laptop aircards if tethering from smartphones is widely used. Most carriers charge a monthly fee for tethering with other devices.

The notice about preventing discussions appeared on the Pre Dev Wiki over the weekend and attracted attention from various blogs.

"We have been politely cautioned by Palm that any discussion of tethering during the Sprint exclusivity period (and perhaps beyond - we don't know yet) will probably cause Sprint to complain to Palm, and if that happened then Palm would be forced to react against the people running the [Internet Relay Chat] channel and this wiki," Pre Dev Wiki said. "We want to retain a good relationship with Palm, hence we are not allowing discussion of tethering on the IRC channel, or in this wiki."

A Sprint spokesman today confirmed that Sprint has no plans to allow tethering on the Palm Pre, but made no comment on the wiki's decision to prevent discussion. The wiki's title regarding the Pre is "Let's open this beast up." But the wiki also said that it might reverse its decision once a version of the Pre is available on a carrier that allows tethering or an unlocked GSM version.

The Sprint spokesman noted that it has many phones under tethering plans, but did not explain why the Pre is not among them.

Tethering became a discussion last week for the new iPhone 3.0 software and the 3G S version that's due out Friday. AT&T said then it would eventually allow tethering on the device but gave no date, and a spokesman repeated today that no date has been announced. He said that many AT&T phones support tethering, including BlackBerry devices, with an added fee per month. Tethering on an iPhone will require an extra fee on monthly charges, the spokesman said.

If a tethering plan for an AT&T BlackBerry is applied to an iPhone, it would add as much as $30 per month on top of the minimum $70 a month for voice and data, based on AT&T's charges on its Web site.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags PalmPalm Presmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?