There are several ways to turn an iPod Touch into an iPhone on any carrier. We recently saw the “hack” that turns the Touch into a Verizon iPhone, and we’ve even talked about Apps that can turn the Apple device into a phone via VOIP.
This shell, called the ZTE PEEL, is essentially a mifi hotspot that encases your Touch. It brings Sprint’s 3G network to your iPod Touch and will support an additional wifi device over 3G.
The PEEL runs about $80, and the monthly fee isn’t terribly expensive at $30, but you only get 1GB of data per month. Hopefully that changes if they see the PEEL gain momentum.
Press Release is after the jump:
ZTE PEEL Brings Sprint‚Äôs 3G Network Reliability to Apple iPod Touch; Creates Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots
Unique form factor of ZTE PEEL‚Ñ¢ cradles Apple¬Æ iPod touch¬Æ for easy access to Sprint‚Äôs 3G data speeds; available Nov. 14
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), November 10, 2010 – Beginning on Nov. 14, Sprint (NYSE:S) customers can attach ZTE PEEL‚Ñ¢ to their Apple iPod touch and connect to Sprint‚Äôs 3G network. ZTE PEEL is a unique device that cradles the second- and third-generation iPod touch with a case-like form factor. With universal Wi-Fi compatibility and support for up to two Wi-Fi enabled devices, iPod touch users will have a virtually anywhere, anytime Internet connection that removes the reliance on a Wi-Fi hotspot for a data connection. Customers simply slide their iPod touch (touch-screen face out) into ZTE PEEL, press down on both sides until it clicks into place, and then press the power button located on the back of ZTE PEEL to connect to Sprint‚Äôs 3G network.
ZTE PEEL will be available beginning Sunday, Nov. 14, through Sprint retail stores and direct ship sales channels, including Web sales (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) for $79.99 (taxes excluded). The ZTE PEEL $29.99 monthly service plan from Sprint allows up to 1GB of 3G data on the Sprint network (taxes and surcharges excluded) with no annual contract required.
‚ÄúZTE PEEL unlocks the wonderful user interface and Web experience of Apple‚Äôs popular iPod touch and transforms it into a powerful mobile device using the Sprint 3G network,‚Äù said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development. ‚ÄúWhen combined with Sprint‚Äôs 3G network, ZTE PEEL turns an iPod touch from a portable device limited by the availability of Wi-Fi to a mobility tool free to browse the Web and use applications anytime, anywhere while on Sprint‚Äôs 3G network.‚Äù
Key features of ZTE PEEL include advanced security through WEP, an internal antenna and compatibility with Windows¬Æ 7, Windows Vista¬Æ, Windows XP¬Æ, Macintosh¬Æ OS 10.5, 10.6. No software installation is required for use.
‚ÄúZTE is proud to continue to grow our relationship with Sprint, and we are excited to bring this ground-breaking product to Sprint‚Äôs already innovative portfolio,‚Äù said Joey Jia, general manager-ZTE USA. ‚ÄúWe are committed to providing our partners with products that drive consumer demand and present a competitive edge.‚Äù
The nationwide Sprint 3G network provides access to a full range of apps that require internet connectivity to perform, including VOIP, gaming, streaming news and real-time sports updates. With ZTE Peel supporting up to two hotspot connections, users can also enable laptops, tablets and other mobile devices with 3G data speeds.
Reliability from Sprint 3G
ZTE PEEL will operate on the Sprint 3G network, and customers can be confident in their ability to stay connected. According to the results of a 13-city test conducted by PC World on 3G performance, no one has a more reliable network than Sprint. For the second consecutive year, Sprint‚Äôs reliability rates were second-to-none.
PC World‚Äôs test involved Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in 13 major cities in all regions of the country during December 2009 and January 2010. In all, roughly 9,000 individual tests of Sprint’s 3G service were conducted from 280 testing locations. Testing sessions were one minute in duration per location, and network performance can be highly variable from neighborhood to neighborhood. In laptop-based tests, Sprint tied with another carrier for first in 3G network reliability.2
With the Sprint Free Guarantee, customers can take advantage of ZTE PEEL for 30 days. If not completely satisfied, customers may return the device within 30 days to get reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get the restocking fees waived, and receive a full refund for the monthly service plan charges.1