Most iPod Touch users are lacking one main criterion to be more like their iPhone (News - Alert) counterparts – a constant mobile connection and the ability to make phone calls.
Today, Sprint officially announced the availability of the much anticipated “ZTE (News - Alert) Peel” which may change the way second and third generation owner’s user their iPod.
The ZTE Peel is a device that users slide their iPod into and click into place. Closely resembling a protective cover, the PEEL, once switched on, provides access to Sprint’s 3G network.
Available starting Nov. 14, this turns the iPod Touch into a WiFi (News - Alert) hotspot with support for up to two WiFi enabled devices.
Fared Adib, Vice President, Product Development at Sprint said, “When combined with Sprint’s (News - Alert) 3G network, ZTE PEEL turns an iPod touch from a portable device limited by the availability of WiFi to a mobility tool, free to browse the Web and use applications anytime, anywhere while on Sprint’s 3G network.”
In essence, this now adds a lot of the same functionality of the iPhone to the device. Apps that require an Internet connection to function, like gaming, streaming news and sports updates, are now possible.
Also important, with an Internet connection, users can now take advantage of the cost savings associated with VoIP technology and use their iPods to make low cost and free phone calls.
The device will be available to purchase for $79.99 and will require a $29.99 monthly service plan from Sprint – which allows up to 1GB of 3G data on the Sprint network and requires no annual contract.
While there is no software to install, the device is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Macintosh OS 10.5, 10.6, and includes and internal antenna. Advanced security is offered through WEP.
Last month, TMCnet reported the Apple (News - Alert) Peel 520, another device that functions to turn the iPod Touch into a phone, had secured a distribution partner.
This device was created by 22-year-old Chinese programmer Pan Yong and slips over the case of the iPod Touch – also like a protective skin but connects to a SIM card slot, a dock connector and a battery.Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi