iOS 4.3 to bring Personal Hotspot to all iPhones

A scintillating screengrab of what the Personal Hotspot feature will look like.
A scintillating screengrab of what the Personal Hotspot feature will look like.

Yesterday's Verizon iPhone launch wasn't particularly exciting for the rest of the world, but one glimmer of interest has emerged: Personal Hotspot functionality may be coming to all iPhones in the iOS 4.3 update.

The Verizon iPhone 4 allows users to make their iPhone a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five separate devices to use to connect to the internet.

Speculation has since abounded that all iPhones will eventually get this feature, with Boy Genius Report seemingly confirming the rumour via a source who claims that it will be included in the update to iOS 4.3.

So long to jailbreaking

Although the iPhone has long been capable of acting as a Wi-Fi hotspot, a little bit of jailbreaking jiggery pokery has been required to make use of the feature.

Some crucial information on the official feature is yet to be revealed, however.

Will UK users definitely get the Personal Hotspot? Apple is, as usual, remaining tight lipped on future functionality so we can't confirm that we'll definitely see the hotspot feature on UK iPhones.

There's also the question of price. iPhone device tethering costs users around £15 a month on top of a regular contract, but now that iPhone tariffs have caps on data usage - as opposed to the original limitless contracts - networks shouldn't have a problem with multiple devices using the same data connection; it just means you'll be left with less data to play with for the remainder of the month.

Paranoid Android

Many Android handsets have long offered Wi-Fi hotspot functionality without adding anything users' bills.

But when it comes to the iPhone networks tend to squeeze as much cash out of users as possible, so we wouldn't be entirely surprised if some charges did apply.

Word on the street is that the Personal Hotspot feature's technical acceptance to the Wi-Fi standard won't be until March, so we'll be waiting a couple of months for the iOS 4.3 update anyway.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.