Kan. - Second- and
Touches will get 3G
cellular-data capability with
Sprint's Nov. 14 launch
of ZTE's Peel, a battery-powered cradle with embedded Wi-Fi and 3G.
The $79.99 Peel communicates
to the Touch via Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, enabling the Touch to access Sprint's 3G
network via the
CDMA 1X EV-DO Rev. 0 modem. The Peel
packaged with a $29.99 monthly service plan, allowing up to 1GB of 3G data
usage with no annual contract.
Consumers slide the Touch into the Peel, press
down on both sides until it clicks into place, then press the power button
located on the Peel's back side to launch 3G service.
The cradle doesn't grip the first-generation
or fourth-generation Touches because they are slimmer than the models in the
other generations, but first- and fourth-gen Touches will access Sprint's 3G
network as long as they are within 20 feet of the cradle, a spokesperson told
Although the Peel makes it possible for
the Touch to access the Internet without depending on Wi-Fi availability, it
doesn't turn the Touch into a full-fledged iPhone because the Peel lacks
cellular voice capability.
Nonetheless, with the fourth-generation Touch, consumers could use the Touch's
front-facing camera and microphone to make 3G FaceTime video-chat calls to Wi-Fi-equipped
fourth-generation Touches and to the iPhone 4. For earlier generation Touches
upgraded to the iOS 4.0 operating system, consumers could use a headphone and Skype
app to accept incoming Skype calls via 3G, not just via Wi-Fi.
The Peel, which also connects a
second Wi-Fi device to Sprint's 3G network, "is compatible with the iPod touch
but has not been endorsed or sponsored by Apple Inc.," Sprint noted in a
The Peel will be available Nov.
14 through Sprint's direct channels, including Sprint-owned stores, telesales
and the carrier's website. The carrier didn't say whether the Peel would also
be available through third-party retailers.