Read more to see what they had to say, and where Clearwire stands on the Clear iSpot.
We chatted with Clearwire this evening about the Clear iSpot. Right after launching service on Apple’s home turf of the greater Bay Area, iSpot was suddenly taken off the shelvesâ€¦ with little explanation.
Many speculated that hacking and/or Apple’s attempts to defeat iSpot were the root cause. And, tonight, Clearwire acknowledged both as lingering issues with the device. Hackers were able to easily, using web scripts, convert the iSpot (which is intended to only work with iOS devices) to function as a full Clear Spot, and communicate with any standard Wi-Fi device.
In addition, Apple began remixing their MAC address ranges, shortly after the iSpot launch. This was clearly done to make it difficult for iSpot to identify which devices were iOS devices, and which were other Apple products, such as Macintosh portables and desktops.
Clearwire representatives were mum on when to expect a return of iSpot, only to look forward to “future generations” of iSpot in the near future.
It appears Clearwire may have turned to Infomark, manufacturers of both the iSpot and the current-generation Clear Spot, to fix the firmware issues with the device. Offering 6 mbps no-contract internet for $25/month is only attractive if it is available to lower-bandwidth consuming devices such as iOS devices like iPod touch and iPad.
And, as we were speaking with Clearwire, they also dropped another bombshell for us; firmware version 2209 was issued for current iSpots, which patches the one-click rooting exploits for the device, as well as makes improvements to iOS device detection.
There are other options for Clearwire, should Apple continue to scramble MAC address ranges. This may also spur Clearwire to embrace a broader solution that enables support for all mobile device platforms, offering a 3G replacement solution for any mobile device. Options range from offering slower speeds that surpass 3G, but are not as fast as Clearwire’s other 4G plans.
In addition, Clearwire could also employ techniques similar to Wi-Fi hotspot logins, that verify what browser and device are being used. This would be more easy to defeat, however, would not be something that a one-click root could put in the hands of users.