AT&T Missing in Action from WWDC iPhone News

Apple iPhone VP Scott Forstall at WWDC09 – Image credit: Engadget

Many of the iPhone OS 3.0 features announced Monday by Apple’s iPhone VP Scott Forstall at the company’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco were previewed last winter: cut, copy and paste, shake to undo, additional support for landscape mode in Mail, Notes and Messages among them.

Two very useful ones, MMS and tethering – which allows an iPhone user to share a network connection with a Mac or PC wired over USB or wirelessly using Bluetooth – are being embraced by nearly 30 cellular service providers worldwide, instantly burnishing iPhone’s credentials as the best smartphone on the market.

Unfortunately, for customers in Apple’s largest worldwide market segment – the United States – its partner carrier here, AT&T, won’t manage to support MMS until ‘the end of the summer,’ and may never get around to supporting tethering.

Many have long thought AT&T to be the worst feature of Apple’s smartphone offering in the United States, and while it hasn’t prevented the sale of more than 40 million devices in the two years since its launch, with this failure to get in step, the cries for Apple to drop its exclusive US distribution deal with AT&T will surely grow louder and more insistent.