Sprint Releasing A Case That Turns iPod Touches Into Phones

ZTE Peel

Sprint just announced that the ZTE Peel, a case for the iPod touch that gives the device 3G data service, will go on sale this Sunday.

The $79 ZTE Peel receives Sprint’s 3G signal, and serves as a wireless network to which your iPod touch — and any other nearby devices you might have — can connect.

It’s telling that this comes as a third-party accessory, rather than a feature built in to the device itself. Carriers have been hesitant to offer 3G service to phone-sized objects that aren’t phones, for good reason — this essentially makes the phone obsolete. There’s no particular reason for a separate channel outside the Internet to handle SMS or voice communication. But that’s how carriers make their money.

If you already have a phone contract, this seems pretty extravagant — $29 per month. But if you’re ready to toss your phone aside, $29 is a lot less than most people pay a month for phone service.

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