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China-made 'Peel' turns iPod Touch into a phone

Protective case called Apple Peel 520 promises to make a jailbroken iPod Touch more like an iPhone.

Peel 520

Some time this week, users of Apple's iPod Touch could get cellular features on the portable media player, according to reports.

Chinese firm Yosion Technology, which is based in Shenzhen, has developed the Apple Peel 520 protective case, which will be available online for about $57 with a one-year warranty.

According to a review in Chinese on PConline, the accessory fixes onto the iPod Touch and comes with a dock connector; built-in 800mAh battery (rated for 4.5 hours of talk time and five days on standby); and SIM card slot. It will only work with a jailbroken iPod Touch as the Yosion and YsSMS apps have to be installed for calling and messaging, and these will be able to run in the background. The Peel 520 will initially launch with a silicone rubber case, but a plastic version can be expected in the future.

Note, though, that the Peel 520 doesn't turn the iPod Touch into a full-fledged phone.

The reviewer added that there's no auto screen lock when the handset is next to the ear and no caller name/number display. Bluetooth and hands-free calling weren't available during the hands-on test of the prototype, but these will reportedly be supported in the retail version of the Peel 520. According to initial tests, the reviewer didn't experience any dropped calls, although there was noticeable lag before the iPod Touch registered an incoming call.

The 3G-only iPhone was officially launched in China last October by China Unicom, the country's second largest mobile operator. Recent reports suggest the service provider may also start selling the iPhone with Wi-Fi this week.

(Source: Crave Asia)