After Netshare was pulled for the second time from the App Store, there was a glimmer of hope it might return after the developer finally got in touch with Apple. Enter AT&T and their terms of service: "Plans (unless specifically designated for tethering usage) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device...to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops), or other equipment for any purpose." There is no tethering plan for the iPhone. But it's not that simple, either.
The obvious question is "Why doesn't AT&T just offer a tethering plan, so everyone's happy?" Trying to get a straight answer on this question is like interrogating a leprechaun about the current location of Elvis. Here's AT&T's official party line from an AT&T spokesman: "The iPhone is not intended to be used as a tethering device and we have no plans to offer separate tethering plans for it." Pushed on NetShare specifically, he added that
"Apple runs the app store, so you'll have to ask them about the availability of this and other apps. For customers looking for a smartphone with tethering capabilities, AT&T has a number of other options to choose from."
The implication—though AT&T won't come out and say it—is that the decision to not allow tethering is actually Apple's after all—besides, why wouldn't AT&T want to hit you for another US$30 a month (or more if you go over their tethering plans' 5GB cap)?
We're still trying to get the very bottom of who's calling the shots on tethering being a no-no, but in the meantime, don't hold your breath for NetShare to show its pretty face back in the App Store. If you managed to snag it before it got yoinked, be careful, you don't want your account terminated. (P.S. if you're an international reader and NetShare is still available where you're at, let us know.) [Wired]