This might be hard to believe with today being April Fools Day and all, but Verizon appears to be giving away 3G tethering with the purchase of a webOS phone. Prices on the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus (s palm) have fluctuated throughout the day, but one constant is the Mobile Hotspot service — instead of $40 monthly, it’s nada. I don’t see any official press release from Verizon (s vz), but I did just run thorough the purchase process and here’s the feature showing at no monthly cost:
The official Palm blog also confirms it. The software for sharing your webOS mobile broadband connection was always free, but the service wasn’t, so this is an unprecedented and great deal. Without any additional fee, you can use the phone’s 3G data on five devices: say a netbook, notebook or one of those iPads (s aapl) that all the kids are talking about today. Remember though — there’s a 5 GB cap on data with the 3G Mobile Hotspot. The smartphone data plan is unlimited, but tethered usage isn’t. Of course, you’re getting that 5 GB for free now, so don’t start complaining about bandwidth caps, ‘k?
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):