We first heard rumblings of this “Peel” case back in July, and Sprint has now made it official. Quite simply, it’s a protective case for a 2nd or 3rd generation iPod Touch that connects to Sprint’s 3G network and converts the data into a Wi-Fi signal to be used by the iPod Touch itself.
It’ll be available November 14th for $80 and uses a $30-per-month plan from Sprint that allows up to 1GB of data use, no long-term contract required.
Here’s why this is huge.
Imagine you’re a parent of a tween, and this tween wants to be like all of her tween friends. Those tween friends all have iPhones! The minimum monthly outlay for an iPhone is $40 for a voice plan, $15 for a data plan, and $5 for a texting plan—assuming your tween will send less than 200 text messages per month, which is a pipe dream. All this, for two years.
The $40 voice plan is totally unnecessary, as catching a tween actually talking on a telephone has proven to be as elusive as finding Bigfoot.
This Peel case lets you buy your tween an 8GB iPod Touch for $229 and outfit it with a $30 per month, no-contract data plan. Your tween can send text messages to all the other tweens with any of a number of text messaging apps available from the App Store and, in a pinch, make phone calls using Skype (though, again, such a sighting will never officially be confirmed).
Another bonus is that the Peel pushes out two Wi-Fi connections. One can be used by the iPod Touch and another can be used by any other Wi-Fi device. So if you have twins, buy one Peel and tell them to stand next to each other. Now that’s good parenting.
Caveats? Yes. The battery is only good for up to three hours, so you’ll have to instruct the tween to turn the Peel off when not in use. That may cause some waves in the tween’s OMGIALWAYSHAVETOBECONNECTED! social circle, but politely instruct your tween to consider the alternative. A childhood with something that sort of resembles an iPhone is better than no iPhone.
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