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AT&T Continues to Temper Expectations for iPhone Tethering in 2009

9 to 5 Mac reports that it has received a note from an AT&T spokesperson asking the site to remove a reference suggesting that the company would support Internet tethering via the iPhone by the end of 2009.

We believed it was coming later this year, until we got a note from an AT&T spokeman. He told us to correct a post that said AT&T will be delivering tethering in 2009. Specifically, he said (his font color, not ours):

"Just reading again - where did anyone promise tethering by EOY? Where did you see that? We promised MMS by end of summer and ended up being a few days late for that..."

The confusion seems to stem from a November 2008 interview with AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega in which he claimed support for tethering on the iPhone was coming "soon". In re-reporting the conversation, CNET appears to have construed the comment as meaning some time in 2009, but AT&T is apparently now trying to temper any such expectations.

AT&T's comment comes just a week after the company reiterated its position that further network "fine tuning" is required before it can support tethering via the iPhone.