Sprint Nextel today launched the long-awaited ZTE Peel, a case that offers the iPod touch 3G service over Sprint’s CDMA network.
Sprint customers will be able to attach the ZTE Peel to their Apple iPod touch and connect to Sprint’s 3G network. The Peel device cradles the second- and third-generation iPod touch with a case-like form factor and offers universal Wi-Fi compatibility and support for up to two Wi-Fi enabled devices.
According to Natalie Papaj, a Sprint spokeswoman, the Peel does not support voice calls over Sprint’s network. She added that Apple sells a microphone accessory that would allow users to place VoIP calls with services like Skype. Papaj said the Peel gets about three hours of battery life.
The ZTE Peel will be available beginning Sunday, Nov. 14, through Sprint retail stores and direct ship sales channels for $79.99. The ZTE Peel $29.99 monthly service plan from Sprint allows up to 1GB of 3G data on the Sprint network with no annual contract required.
“ZTE Peel unlocks the wonderful user interface and Web experience of Apple’s popular iPod touch and transforms it into a powerful mobile device using the Sprint 3G network,” said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, in a press release.
The Peel includes advanced security through WEP, an internal antenna and compatibility with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Macintosh OS 10.5, 10.6. No software installation is required for use.
While the Peel does not an iPhone make, it’s about as close to the coveted device as any carrier has come outside of AT&T’s exclusivity agreement with Apple.