Palm Inc. has asked developers to stop working on or even talking about a tethering app for the new Palm Pre, which would allow the device act as a laptop modem. The developers say Palm fears backlash from exclusive carrier Sprint-Nextel Corp..
The developer group Pre Dev Wiki has placed this statement up on what was previously a forum on tethering.
“We have been politely cautioned by Palm that any discussion of tethering during the Sprint exclusivity period (and perhaps beyond — we don’t know yet) will probably cause Sprint to complain to Palm, and if that happened then Palm would be forced to react against the people running the IRC channel and this wiki,” read the post. “We want to retain a good relationship with Palm, hence we are not allowing discussion of tethering on the IRC channel, or in this wiki.”
Tethering is a controversial functionality, banned on the iPhone too until the latest version, since the laptop dongle data plans are an additional revenue stream for carriers. Tethering would allow users to pay only for the smartphone data plan.