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SlingPlayer app not approved due to AT&T?

updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu April 16, 2009

SlingPlayer not approved

Sling Media's SlingPlayer app for the iPhone has been denied approval into Apple's App Store, according to an unconfirmed tip from a source close to Apple's approval processes. Although the program was described as an "impressive" application, the tip said that the media application was not approved due to pressure from AT&T executives concerned about effect of the app on the already-strained AT&T cellular network. According to the tip, which could not be confirmed Wednesday night, Apple executives went around the normal approval process to deny approval for the SlingPlayer app to appease AT&T.

The source said that AT&T was concerned about bandwidth on their network. SlingPlayer for the iPhone was designed to allow users to access television content via their mobile device, and would have streamed video over 3G as well as Wi-Fi. As iPhone users are increasingly common and are more likely to use data than competing platforms, their use of SlingPlayer creates a greater risk of saturating the 3G network.

BGR has since talked to Sling, which says it hasn't received a response from Apple in either direction regarding the app.

At least publicly, AT&T has no explicit bans on streaming video over 3G connections. The company recently called an anti-video terms-of-service agreement an error and currently has multiple phones that are explicitly supported by differing versions of SlingPlayer, including the BlackBerry Bold through the BlackBerry app as well as Windows Mobile devices.

Electronista hopes to hear from AT&T soon for comment.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thank god!

    If it weren't for Apple's insistence that every app get pre-approved by them before it can be sold/distributed/installed, we'd be stuck with all these developers creating apps like this.

    As long as ATT has no problem with the farting apps, we're golden!

  1. jondesu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Makes sense

    Annoying for customers I'm sure, and it'd be nice if there was a more specific set of rules, but I can see where AT&T is coming from.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AT&T probably wants to create a movie service and charge you for that on top of your data plan.

  1. dogzilla

    Joined: Dec 1969


    OMG!!! You're right!

    Curse you t*******, and your brilliant, overpowering analysis of all that is wrong with Apple! We can no longer escape your logic. I and all other readers of this blog have finally been converted to your way of thinking.

    Fellow readers, onward! We shall raze the offensive Apple headquarters form the face of the earth, their children and women will weep, and a new glorious Apple-less day will dawn. Then we shall look to our newly anointed leader, Testudo the Really Really Clever, for our next target that offends his sense of correctness. I sure hope it's that pesky neighbor of his he's always writing letters to the local paper about - I hate that guy.

  1. Diggory Laycock

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If this is true (that's a big if) - then why should an American cellular network decide what apps I can use on my phone - I have no connection to them, my carrier is o2.

  1. que_ball

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WiFi only like Skype

    I expect that if it does get denied that Sling will modify the app to only work over a Wifi connection like Skype did for their phone calls.

    It's probably been their strategy from the start to first try to push the app with full streaming support and then try again with 3G streaming removed.

    Some day though some developer is going to try and sue Apple to recover their lost time when their app gets denied. That might be an interesting case.

  1. makemineamac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad news for Sling...

    If this is the case. They sent all of us Slingbox owners $50 off coupons to buy new ones to support the new iPhone App and other upcoming new features. The old boxes they claimed would not support the new App.

    The $50 off coupon was only for use through their online store however, and the newer boxes could be found for less elsewhere, but plenty of people did upgrade.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds Reasonable

    With all these lawsuits popping up over the 3G "promise" and not delivering, I can see this being a real concern. But I don't think ATT is "pressuring" Apple, lets face it, at this point, any network would be willing to take the deal Apple gave ATT, even the phone crippling Verizon despite all the noise and spin they pitch.

  1. fm1365

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How is this different from the orb app that is already approved?

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple should use the leverage have with the exclusive contract soon expiring into pressuring AT&T to drop these types of limitations, even if it did mean putting strains on their 3G networks. Even though majority of iPhone customers are in the US, there is no real reason why AT&T should control what gets installed onto an iPhone sold by a carrier in Botswana (or any other country that sells it).

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