The good news is that, in theory, there is no reason why an iPad could not be tethered to an iPhone. Doing this would enable you to save on the need to double up and have two different data plans – one for your iPhone and one for your iPad.
The bad news, alas, is that while in theory you could and should be able to do this, in reality, you will not be allowed to. Apple is not enabling the necessary connectivity to allow the two devices to talk to each other.
Why are they not allowing this useful and sensible connectivity?
The only possible reason seems to be so as to force you to spend more money with Apple’s marketing partner, AT&T.
Which clearly shows where Apple’s priorities lie. Not with us, their customers. But with AT&T, their current sole US marketing partner.
And – as this article points out – it provides another reason not to buy an iPhone. The new 4G Sprint EVO phone, using the Android OS, can be tethered to an iPad. The EVO acts as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing up to eight different devices to connect simultaneously to the EVO and on through it to the internet.
The iPhone’s lead over other phone devices continues to dwindle – both in terms of technological capabilities, and in terms of its ‘coolness’ factor; and in the case of tethering, Apple seems to be the victim of a self-inflicted decision to allow other devices to triumph over the needless artificial limitations of the iPhone.
Let’s hope that Monday’s probable announcement of a new model of the iPhone may allow Apple to claw back some of its technological leadership. But as long as Apple artificially limits the functionality of the iPhone, it will find itself moving further behind the rest of the pack, just the same way that it did so with computers. While IBM/Microsoft/everyone else were adopting an open model, Apple kept itself tightly to itself, and as a result almost went bankrupt in the 1990s, prior to its rebirth not as a computer company but as a portable entertainment device company (first the iPod then the iPhone and now the iPad).