UPDATED 09:42 EDT / AUGUST 04 2010

Apple iDisk and Clearwire iSpot; Buildouts for a Better Cloud

Apple device users are getting more ways to access the cloud, with Clearwire’s new iSpot, and an unearthed iDisk update from Apple. The two announcements are separate, but indicate the growth around improved access points around cloud data.

In this larger virtualization trend, infrastructure builds are carving out paths for consumers and brands to access each other, and that’s a major value point for services, marketing and data collection.

First up is Clearwire’s new iSpot, which introduces a mobile wifi device for creating your own hotspot. The iSpot supports 4G, and has a battery life of 4 hours. It support eight connections, with a range of 150 feet.

The draw here is the iSpot’s appeal to Apple users, which have seen fewer dedicated products and services from Clear. It’s obvious that the company is seeking expansion through a range of users, and addressing those that have been neglected throughout Clear’s last year of development is a smart move.

Retail space in Best Buy locations has also helped Clear with visibility and associated sales, centralizing much of its marketing and outreach to targeted consumers. Finding a way to override losses due to initial campaigns and new customer sign-ups, Clear may be able to regain some traction through these narrowed efforts, especially as wireless carriers dominate data packages and strive towards additional streams of revenue.

Apple’s also taking some liberty with its account-sharing capabilities, quietly rolling out an iDisk update. While it’s not the complete solution many users seek, it does allow background music streaming and public file sharing simultaneously, across multiple devices (Gizmodo has more details).

Apple lost some footing earlier this week, with delays to its Lala implementation for cloud-based, streaming music. As I mentioned in that article’s coverage, the regulatory mechanisms around Apple’s sharing and streaming capabilities face political obstacles as well.


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