It’s definitely iPad Mania, with information about the new slate from Apple everywhere you turn. It was even big news at the Oscars, with more people online pointing to the iPad commercial that aired during the Oscars than those listing who won awards. That’s the way it felt, anyway. Also big news in the iPad space is how Steve Jobs killed the dreams of millions with a single word. When asked if the iPad could be tethered to the iPhone, his Jobsness answered a curt “no” in response, thus dashing the hopes of future iPad owners hoping to get by with a Wi-Fi version of the slate. While Jobs may be telling the truth about tethering to the iPhone, it’s not the only game in town. I plan on tethering my Wi-Fi-only iPad from day one, and so can you.
I’m no Steve Jobs but when asked if I can tether the iPad, I have a one word answer too. “MiFi“. Yes, I will be tethering the 3G-less iPad to my MiFi from the unboxing. While Apple may have the intention of preventing iPad owners who don’t spring for the pricier (and one month delayed) 3G version of the slate from using a 3G connection, they can’t stop us. Since the MiFi shares the 3G love over Wi-Fi, the iPad cannot prevent it. The 3G connection will just look like any other Wi-Fi hotspot, even though of my own making.
Apple may take active steps to prevent tethering the iPad to a phone using a Bluetooth connection. That wouldn’t surprise me as they try to protect sales of the 3G models, along with the data plan from AT&T. No matter how hard they try they can’t stop tethering over Wi-Fi without limiting the usefulness of the iPad. We have Apple right where we want them. Sure we do.
Those who don’t have a MiFi or Sprint Overdrive needn’t fret. Many phones — the U.S. model of the iPhone currently excluded — have utilities that allow tethering the 3G connection over Wi-Fi, just like the MiFi. Again, the iPad will see a Wi-Fi hotspot, not an evil tethered connection. Sorry Jobs, but we gotta have some 3G on the iPad. Even without your help.
Image courtesy of Apple
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):