Apple Not Ruling Out iPhone Hotspot Through AT&T

Apple isn’t ruling out the possibility that AT&T will offer a hotspot feature similar to the one Verizon introduced Tuesday for its version of the iPhone. The feature allows users to turn their data-enabled smartphone into a mobile hotspot that allows up to five devices to connect to the Internet, and it’s not currently available through AT&T.

“We did the hotspot feature [for Verizon’s iPhone] because it’s something Verizon offers, they have a system and specs for it in place,” Mr. Schiller told Ars Technica at the Verizon media event announcing the deal. “We can’t say if it will come to AT&T.”

Apple doesn’t speak for AT&T in most regards, of course, but the comment all but challenges the company to match Verizon on this feature, which Apple has built into the system controls on its Verizon iPhone.

The mobile hotspot feature was first brought to market by Verizon for Android devices, where it has been a popular selling point. The company announced on Tuesday that it will be available on the CDMA iPhone that Verizon will begin selling February 3rd.

Verizon hasn’t yet announced data plan pricing, nor has the company announced whether this tethering feature would require an additional fee for users to access it.