Author Topic: ‘Peel’ mobile Wi-Fi case for iPod Touch gets official, coming to Sprint  (Read 456 times)

Offline martinanzekwue

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Outed a few months ago by the FCC and slated to arrive on Sprint early next week, the Wi-Fi-enabled Peel slide-on case will essentially turn your iPod Touch into an iPhone—as long as you're content to make voice calls with Skype.

Available this Sunday on Sprint for $79, no contract required, the ZTE Peel first made waves in the summer after snapshots and documentation for the 3. 2-ounce, 0. 68-inch-thick case cropped up in the Federal Communications Commission database.

Sprint made the Peel (Apple, peel, get it?) official Wednesday.  The slide-on case promises to give your Wi-Fi-enabled iPod Touch wireless connectivity anywhere you go within Sprint's 3G coverage area.

Sure, there are already plenty of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots (such as the stand-alone MiFi, or smartphones like the HTC Evo 4G that act as mobile hotspots) that'll let you surf the Web and make Wi-Fi calls over Skype on the iPod Touch, even while you're on the go.

What sets apart the Peel (which boasts three hours of battery life, according to Sprint) is that it's designed to fit the iPod Touch like a glove—at least the second- and third-generation Touches.

Unfortunately, the new iPod Touch (which was announced shortly after the Peel was leaked by the FCC) won't slide into the Peel properly, although I suppose there's nothing stopping you from using the Peel as a mobile hotspot for the fourth-generation Touch anyway.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty: A gigabyte of 3G monthly data on the Peel will cost you $30 a month—a bit pricey, considering you can get unlimited 3G data from Virgin Mobile for just $10 extra each month.  (Virgin Mobile offers its own no-contract version of the Novatel MiFi, one of my favorite gadgets from 2009, for $149.  Verizon Wireless sells the MiFi for $99 with a two-year contract or $269 without. )

The Peel also has some technical limitations compared with other mobile hotspots I've tested.  For example, the Peel will only support two Wi-Fi devices at a time, versus five devices on the MiFi and various hotspot-enabled smartphones.

And then there's the security issue: The Peel is capable of supporting only 64-bit WEP encryption, not tougher-to-crack WPA security.

Still, in terms of initial hardware, the Peel is one of the cheapest ways to turn the iPod Touch into a de facto iPhone, without a contract.

If you've got a fourth-generation iPod Touch or you'd rather pay a little extra for unlimited data, though, I'm still a fan of the MiFi on Virgin Mobile.  Unfortunately, it's sold out.
culled from yahootechnew. com

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