Apple iPod Touch users, no need to feel left out of the party! There's a new gadget just for you.
A Chinese firm has developed a special protective case -- known as the "Apple Peel" -- for converting the iPod Touch into a cell phone, state media said Tuesday.
The Apple Peel 520, from Shenzhen-based Yosion Technology -- discussed and debated for months on geeky blogs -- is reportedly going to become available this week in online stores for sale to Chinese users. It targets aspiring owners of Apple's trendy iPhone who balk at paying the full price for the cell phone.
The Peel attaches to the iPod Touch like a protective case, but has a dock connector, an extended battery and a SIM card slot, enabling users to make phone calls and send text messages, the Beijing News said.
The device is more than mere vaporware: The gadget has gotten a full review by a Chinese tech blogger -- summarized in English by M.I.C. Gadget. According to the review, the adapter works very well. Calls work perfectly, just as they would from any ordinary mobile phone. There are no dropped calls, the reviewer adds, though there is a delay when the call is made from the iPod touch.
Users who unlock their iPod Touch could install the rubber and plastic case for 388 Chinese yuan ($57). The iPhone became legally available via China Unicom, the country's second-largest mobile operator, in October -- more than two years after its U.S. debut.
An iPod Touch costs around 1,500 Chinese yuan in China compared with 4,999 Chinese yuan for the Apple smartphone.
Sales of the iPhone in China were initially sluggish as the price was much higher than for those sold on the gray market, which has thrived for years.
NewsCore contributed to this report.