What should have been a fine moment for iPhone owners everywhere turned into a moment of frustration, anger and despair. The reason? SlingPlayer Mobile finally comes to the iPhone – unfortunately, AT&T decided to cripple the app by making it Wi-Fi-only. So you can forget your 3G.
SlingPlayer On iPhone
A lot of people have been waiting a long time for the SlingPlayer Mobile app to come to the iPhone. It’s been available for BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Smartphone and Pocket PC, and Palm OS amongst others for some time but due to Apple‘s vice-like grip over what makes it onto the iTunes App Store, the wait has been long and painful.
At the end of March, Sling Media announced that it had submitted SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone to the iTunes App Store. It made it on there on Wednesday (May 13) but was lumbered with a disability which makes it an altogether less attractive option.
AT&T Did What?
AT&T, the phone company which has total control of the iPhone market in the United States, decided it couldn’t allow the SlingPlayer Mobile app access to its 3G network. Instead, iPhone owners who also own a SlingBox and want to combine the two for fully-fledged mobile video will have to find a Wi-Fi hotspot before the app works.
AT&T responded to the immediate flow of criticism heading its way by releasing an official statement. It not only claims that Sling’s app “could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network,” but also that applications such as these are “prohibited under our terms of service.”
So, two excuses, one of which suggests that AT&T has very little confidence in its 3G network and the other which means AT&T considers the iPhone the same as a PC and therefore cannot allow it to redirect a television signal. Both bunkum if you ask me.
Interestingly, Gizmodo suggests that the real reason behind this move to cripple SlingPlayer For Mobile may be much simpler. It claims AT&T is working on its own application, currently codenamed i-Verse. This will perform a similar action to the SlingPlayer but for AT&T’s U-Verse instead of a SlingBox. If true, net neutrality clearly doesn’t exist at AT&T headquarters.
If you’re still interested in SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone then it’s available to download now from the iTunes App Store for £29.99. Throw in the price of a SlingBox, the cost of an iPhone, and that monthly contract from AT&T and you have a very expensive mobile television solution. Which will only work over Wi-Fi. Is it worth it?
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