CLEAR offers 4G iSpot mobile broadband to iDevice owners

Since the promise of unlimited 3G internet access via AT&T on the iPad has evaporated into the mist, the makers of various mobile WiFi hotspots have been nosingaround the iStuff market with solutions aimed at iPad, iPod touch and iPhone users who don't want to pay full freight to AT&T.

Up until now, the products or concepts we've seen have all been capable of supporting any WiFi-enabled device that you might want to use with them, but here's a new wrinkle: CLEAR has launched the iSpot, a version of the company's WiMAX Spot mobile connectivity device that is designed to work only with the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Yep, that's right -- you can't use your Mac or PC laptop with this lovely white broadband widget, just your iOS gear. Engadget reports that the iSpot is doing MAC filtering (that's Media Access Control, not Macintosh) to identify the legit devices.

It may seem like a fairly onerous restriction (and one that could be worked around relatively easily by a savvy user), but it comes with a hefty benefit. The iSpot normally sells for $99, but it's on sale today for $29; monthly service for the device is $25 for unlimited data. That compares very favorably to CLEAR's monthly charge of $40 for unlimited access on its similar Spot device, which supports all sorts of WiFi clients.

Of course, since the iSpot is a 4G-only device, it does you no good whatsoever if you're not covered by CLEAR. The company's footprint is growing, but it's far from ubiquitous; the iSpot is probably best for someone who's not planning to travel much with it.

[via CNET]