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The coolest feature on Verizon’s iPhone, the mobile hotspot functionality that will let users tether up to five separate devices to the carrier’s 3G network via a single phone, will be headed to all iPhones in the next major update of iOS, version 4.3, according to mobile site Boy Genius Report.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be able to create hotspots with your AT&T iPhone. The feature, much like the iPhone’s tethering functionality, will likely need to be approved by mobile carriers. For AT&T, which struggled to deliver simple mobile internet tethering between the iPhone and a single device, I suspect the feature will take a while to make its way to users.
An AT&T representative said the company was “evaluating” the feature, but wouldn’t discuss any specifics on its availability, reports Business Insider.
When it comes to AT&T, the delay will likely be more about its network’s inability to handle data hungry devices like the iPhone. Turning on mobile hotspot functionality would make the iPhone an even bigger data hog, and the carrier is having trouble enough supporting individual iPhones.
In other news, Slashgear unsuccessfully attempted to perform the antenna “death grip” — the act of holding the iPhone in a certain way to reduce its reception, and the cause of Apple’s antennagate scandal — on a Verizon iPhone unit. While it’s in no way a confirmation that the Verizon iPhone is completely free of the issue, it’s still somewhat telling.
The AT&T iPhone is most susceptible to the death grip when it’s in areas with weak reception. Given that Verizon’s network is generally stronger in major cities than AT&T’s (it certainly was near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, where Verizon’s iPhone event took place), the death grip may end up being less of an issue on its network.
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