Remember Rover, the youth-oriented pay-as-you-go wireless service that Clearwire launched last summer? Probably not. And now you may never get a chance to use it. Clearwire is pulling the plug on the Gen Y-focused Rover brand, including the Rover Puck portable hotspot brand which provides wireless broadband connections to as many eight devices. The company said that the Rover no-contract plans will now be offered under the Clear name, and the Rover Puck device will be supported by Clearwire going forward.
Rover launched with a slick Web site last August, offering hip slogans like “faster than your first time;” “coverage that won’t hang;” and “wireless you can rock on the go.”
Despite the catchy campaign, the Rover brand didn’t really become a mainstay among teens and twenty somethings. Nonetheless, Clearwire spokeswoman tells GeekWire that Rover provided the company with “the ability to test some new pay-as-you-go pricing options.
Targeting the youth-oriented market can always be a challenge, especially in mobile. And Clearwire isn’t the first to fall victim to that trap. Last year, you may recall that Microsoft pulled the plug on its Kin mobile device about a month after its debut.
When contacted by GeekWire this morning, Clearwire issued a statement saying that Rover was a test of pricing models in a few select markets.
The personal hot spot category of products enable hundreds of Wi-Fi enabled products to access the Clearwire 4G We are continually evaluating options for improving and streamlining our offers and product distribution as we expect double-digit growth from our retail channel this year, and as such, we will be discontinuing the sale of Rover branded products in the coming weeks. We will instead be providing our CLEAR-branded “no-term contract” service plan to customers. We feel confident that that these CLEAR-branded “no-term contract” service plan offerings should meet the needs of most of the Rover customer base.