Poll: How Important is Smartphone Tethering to You?

Last Updated May 20, 2010 3:22 PM EDT

I am officially mad at Apple. And AT&T. Both companies promised me iPhone tethering (i.e. using the phone as a wireless modem) nearly a year ago, but the feature has yet to materialize.

In fact, despite some recent rumors on sites like MacRumors, which show a tethering option in the latest iPhone OS 4 beta, an AT&T spokesman said yesterday the company had "nothing new" to share on the subject of iPhone tethering.

Boo! Hiss! Come on, guys, this is ridiculous. It's sad enough the iPhone doesn't support Wi-Fi syncing, a feature Microsoft's Zune player has had for three years. Tethering is easily do-able, and, done right (like on the Palm Pre), it's awesome.

All this gets me a-wondering: How important is this to you? Is tethering capability a crucial consideration when choosing a phone? Or is it not something you really care about? Vote in our poll! Then tether yourself to the comments page and join the discussion.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.