Here's where we start to lose our way, though. AT&T cites a portion of its wireless terms and conditions -- "Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service" -- and says that it considers "smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs." Sure, guys, but a RAZR shares 85 percent of its DNA with a PC and an iPhone shares 87 percent, so we're splitting hairs here -- never mind the fact that you've inexplicably labeled the S60-powered Nokia 6650 (which can run SlingPlayer, by the by) a dumbphone simply because it lacks a QWERTY keyboard. Furthermore, AT&T specifically points out that it doesn't restrict users from downloading streaming videos, which is the very problem SlingPlayer generates -- the upload from the user's TV on the far end is the ISP's concern, not AT&T's, and we figure that the network pressure generated by the download is roughly equivalent to watching a whole bunch of YouTube videos. It doesn't add up.
Next, the carrier uses the opportunity to pimp its extensive WiFi network and says that you're welcome to use SlingPlayer there; that's all well and good, and yes, it's cool that AT&T gives iPhone users free access to the hotspots, but it's no substitute for the mobility of streaming Sling over the WWAN, which works really freaking well -- just ask countless BlackBerry, S60, WinMo, and Palm users who are using SlingPlayer as you read this. The only material difference is that they can't be touched -- not as easily, at least, as iPhone users who are bound to the whim of Apple's singular, all-powerful clearinghouse.
Look, AT&T, just tell it like it is: you're saying your 3G network would fold like a cheap suit if these apps took off. Thing is, it already has in some places -- trust us, we've experienced it firsthand -- so let's make sure the blame gets distributed appropriately here.
Follow the break for AT&T's full statement.