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How much would you pay to use your iPhone as a wireless modem, sharing its 3G network connection with your MacBook so you can get online with a nice big screen and actual keyboard? How about $55?
Appmodo reports that AT&T plans to offer tethering toward the end of July, according to a source inside the company. But it'll be steep at $55 per month. The source also claimed that MMS service would arrive in mid July, which is a little more specific than the "later this summer" still on AT&T's official iPhone page.
The MMS news, if true, is fine. AT&T has already said it doesn't plan to nickel and dime users by charging extra for MMS -- if you pay for text messages on your plan, MMS is included in that.
To put it in perspective, $55 per month is more than I pay for my home Internet service, which is used every day without fail, often for hours and hours. Since I've had NetShare (a tethering app that was briefly offered in the App Store before being pulled) on my iPhone, I've used it five times. Five times in a little less than a year. Of course, the official tethering service from Apple and AT&T would be a smoother experience, so perhaps I would use it more, but enough to justify $55 per month, on top of my regular iPhone bill? Probably not.
The best solution, in my opinion, would be an a la carte option, where you could buy a day pass, or even a week pass, for a reasonable fee. It's very unlikely many iPhone users would rely on tethering as their go-to method for getting their MacBooks online, so it doesn't make sense to charge them like they are. Especially since they've already figured out how to do it, albeit unofficially, for free.
What do you think AT&T should do? How much would you be willing to pay for tethering? Comment away while we wait for the official word from everyone's favorite iPhone carrier.