U.S. iPod touch owners will soon be able to access the Internet without a Wi-Fi hotspot by using a new add-on being launched on Sunday by Sprint and Chinese network supplier ZTE.
The ZTE Peel works with second- and third-generation iPod touch devices and slips on like a case, enabling access to Sprint’s 3G network. The add-on is priced at US$79.99 and will be available in Sprint’s retail and online stores. The monthly service plan costs $29.99, with no annual contract required.
A similar add-on device made news earlier this year in China, but was marketed as a more affordable option for users wanting to make phone calls on their iPod touch devices. The Apple Peel 520, from Chinese developer Yoison Technology, is housed in a protective case that includes battery and SIM card. Solar technology Company GoSolarUSA plans to sell the device in America soon, and is currently offering reservations.
Sprint says the ZTE Peel will free iPod touch users from being forced to rely on Wi-Fi hotspots to access the Internet. With the add-on, an iPod touch can become a mobile hotspot that will allow two devices to connect with it at the same time. The ZTE Peel includes a battery for up to three hours of active use time.