A Chinese-developed gadget that turns an iPod touch into an iPhone-like device, is being made available in the US.
The Apple Peel, which has been billed as a more affordable option for users wanting to get their hands on an iPhone but lack the budget, is a protective case equipped with a dock connector, battery and SIM card, that slips on to an iPod Touch. Once connected and properly installed, the device will allow the iPod Touch to make phone calls and send text messages.
Earlier this month, solar technology company GoSolarUSA signed an agreement with the Chinese developer of the Apple Peel, Yoison Technology, to develop the device, file it for a US patent and distribute it in America. The first demonstration models of the Apple Peel will arrive in America this week, GoSolarUSA said.
"As soon as they arrive, we'll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country," said GoSolarUSA CEO Tyson Rohde. "The amount of interest in this product that we've received from distributors has been staggering."
The Apple Peel features five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use on its battery. GoSolarUSA has yet to offer a retail price for the add-on. But Yoison Technology is selling the device in China for 520 Yuan (£49).
Yoison could not be reached for comment. But the company plans on releasing 2,000 Apple Peels this month in China, according to Yoison's online auction site. Other knock-off versions of the device are already being sold online in China.
The release comes after Apple launched its iPhone 4 in China last week. The smartphone is so popular that its already in short supply among retail outlets selling the device. The shortage of iPhone 4s and the high price are reasons why the Apple Peel may find a strong following in China.
However, it is currently unknmown whether the device will hit the UK market.