updated 05:50 pm EST, Thu December 30, 2010
Clear stops selling iSpot router after four months
A Clear representative said this afternoon on the carrier forums that the iSpot 4G was being phased out. Only some retail stores still have stock of the Apple-specific router and will stop sales altogether once they run dry. Any remaining hotspots will be used to replace broken ones under warranty.
Reasons for the abrupt end to sales, which began just four months earlier, weren't given. The deliberate limitations and low service rate may have been at fault, however. As it would only officially support iOS devices like iPads, iPods and iPhones, the iSpot was less useful out of the box than a costlier but truly universal 4G router. Customers created hacks within days and also encountered problems even with later iOS devices, since the MAC address filtering didn't cover every device. Some iPad owners had to turn to web-based tools to use the iSpot as promised.
The discounted $25 unlimited data may have been a money-loser for Clear at a time when its survival past 2011 was being cast into doubt. Regular service costs $40.
Clear hasn't given an estimate for when it thought the iSpot would be completely unavailable. It did promise that any customer with the router will still get the $25 rate.