The phone carrier has reversed course on the Slingbox application, which would let users stream video directly from their television or desktop to their iPhone – or Apple iPad.
AT&T's rationale was simple: If the app took off, all that streaming Slingbox video would put a major strain on the 3G network, which was already struggling to keep up with data demands from the increasing pool of iPhone users.
Now, AT&T has reversed course, and approved a 3G version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app. (The app is currently available, but only accessible with a Wi-Fi connection.) In a statement accompanying the announcement, AT&T seemed to chalk the reversal up to "collaboration" between Sling Media and the cellular provider.
As Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired points out, the approval of SlingPlayer Mobile was probably merely a matter of lowering video and audio quality so the whole 3G network wouldn't explode.