Some time this week, Apple iPod touch users could get cellular features on the portable media player fitted with an accessory, according to reports.
Chinese firm Yosion Technology, which is based in Shenzhen, has developed the Apple Peel 520 protective case, which will be available online for about US$57 with a one-year warranty.
According to a Chinese review on PConline, the accessory fixes onto the iPod touch and comes with a dock connector, built-in 800mAh battery (rated for 4.5 hours of talktime and five days on standby) and SIM card slot. It will work with only a jailbroken iPhone as the Yosion and YsSMS apps have to be installed for calling and messaging, and these will be able to run in the background. The Peel 520 will initially launch with a silicon rubber case, but a plastic version can be expected in the future.
Note, though, that the Peel 520 doesn’t turn the iPod touch into a full-fledged phone.
The reviewer added that there’s no auto screen lock when the handset is next to the ear and no caller name/number display. Bluetooth and handsfree calling weren’t available during the hands-on of the prototype, but these will reportedly be supported in the retail version of the Peel 520. According to initial tests, the reviewer didn’t experience any dropped calls, although there was noticeable lag before the iPod touch registered an incoming call.
The 3G-only iPhone was officially launched in China last October by China Unicom, the country’s second-largest mobile operator. Recent reports suggest that the service provider may also start selling the iPhone with Wi-Fi this week.