While this doesn’t quite appear to be the same “Peel” case that surfaced in late July, the idea appears to be somewhat similar. A company called GoSolarUSA is planning to bring a $60 protective case to market this year that features a SIM card slot and special software that allows Apple’s new iPod Touch to make and receive voice calls and text messages.
According to the company’s press release:
“The Apple Peel 520 acts as a protective skin that slips over the iPod Touch’s case and includes a battery, dock connector and SIM card. Once the proper software is installed, the Apple Peel 520 adds the ability to make voice calls and text messages using any version of the iPod Touch. When fully charged, the Apple Peel’s 800mAh battery offers nearly five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use.”
The case is already available in China from a company called Yosion, which GoSolarUSA has partnered with for US distribution.
Now before you get too excited, it’s important to note that this case only provides voice and text messaging features—no 3G data. You’ll have to rely on the iPod Touch’s Wi-Fi chip if you want to get online. You’ll also have to jailbreak your iPod Touch in order to install the software. However, a company rep told me, “GoSolarUSA and Yosion have teamed up to deliver a next generation version for the future that will not have this requirement.”
Those caveats aside, if the product manages to make it to the states without encountering any legal trouble, it could provide a decent alternative to an iPhone 4 with a monthly plan. You could conceivably use a pre-paid SIM card from the likes of AT&T or T-Mobile, or swap out an existing SIM between multiple devices if you’re already locked into a monthly service plan.
No word on an exact availability date yet, but we’ll keep an eye on this one.
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