The first demo models of the Peel, a third-party device that apparently can turn an iPod Touch into a phone, are about to arrive in the United States.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
The Peel, a third-party device that apparently can transform an Apple iPod Touch into a phone, will arrive in the U.S. this week ready for demonstrations to potential retail partners.
The Peel's U.S. distributor, GoSolarUSA, has set up an agreement with China-based device creator Yosion Technology to make it available in the U.S. The device is already being sold in China. Under the agreement, GoSolarUSA will work with Yosion to file a patent and distribute the "Apple Peel 520" in the United States.
Created by two Chinese brothers who formed Yosion, the Peel wraps around Apple's iPod Touch and includes a battery, dock connector, and SIM card. After installing special software, people apparently can make and receive voice calls and text messages on the iPod Touch, just like on an Apple iPhone.
The current model of the Peel won't work with the new iPod Touch 4G, GoSolarUSA said, but a compatible version is in the initial stages of development.
"We're obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we're looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch," GoSolarUSA CEO Tyson Rohde said in a statement. "As soon as they arrive, we'll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country."
GoSolarUSA has already spoken with Micro Center about carrying the device and is looking to ink distribution deals with other major retailers. If the Peel can find a home in the U.S., it would reportedly sell for around $60.
The big question mark is Apple's response to the device.
Neither Apple nor GoSolarUSA responded to requests for comment last week or today.