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Apple will add tethering functionality to the iPhone 4 and 3GS with the next iOS software update, it has been claimed.

Tethering, whereby a smartphone can be used a portable mobile broadband hotspot to connect up to five devices to the internet simultaneously, arrived on iDevices for the first time yesterday when the feature was confirmed for the Verizon edition of the iPhone 4.

The handset, which has been specially designed to work on CDMA network technology that Verizon uses rather than the more common 3G standard, has the tethering option built in as part of its the iPhone's operating system – a hitherto unseen version iteration of Apple’s OS dubbed iOS 4.2.5.

According to Greek iFansite iPhoneHellas and of the Netherlands tethering is now to be extended to older Apple smartphones when the company pushes out its next software update.

Good news, then? Hmm, we’re holding our tongue for the moment. In the UK and US carriers have thus far given tethering on Android phones a positively frosty welcome. And we don’t suppose that’ll change anytime soon? just because it’s the mighty Apple they're dealing with this time around.

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