Go Solar USA has begun importing a device called Apple Peel 520 that adds cellphone capabilities to an iPod touch for a fraction of the cost of an unsubsidized iPhone. The device, which requires jailbreaking your iPod touch and installing an unauthorized app, was invented by two brothers in China, where it has been available for some time.
The Apple Peel 520 is a case with a transceiver, a SIM card slot, and a battery built into it. When coupled with software on your iPod touch, it allows users to send and receive SMS text messages and make phone calls. In China, the device sells for about $78, according to Bloomberg, while Go Solar USA has not announced pricing for this market.
The two brothers, Pan Lei (25) and Pan Yong (23) defended their creation in an interview with the news service, saying that it is not a counterfeit iPhone. Their creation requires Apple hardware, the iPod touch, and it shows, in their minds, that they, “are capable of coming up with something original.”
Apple Peel 520
Referencing the common practice in China of counterfeiting devices from legit manufacturers, Mr. Pan told Bloomberg, “We’re also very creative. Not just getting a Nokia phone and copy, getting Apple and copy, or a Samsung phone to copy as well. It shouldn’t be like that.”
Go Solar USA is touting the product on the company’s Web site, including hosting videos and links to jailbreaking information for all iPod touch models.
The company’s Web site says, “The Apple iPhone is a transformative mobile device that packs the power to run millions of applications, play games, listen to music, and more into a powerful smartphone. Just about the only thing the iPhone can’t do is be purchased affordably. Thanks to Go Solar USA, however, there is an alternative!”
The company has not announced pricing or availability, however, nor has it responded to a request for information from The Mac Observer. An Apple spokesperson in Hong Kong told Bloomberg that the company is aware of the Apple Peel 520, and aside from noting that jailbreaking an iOS device voids its warranty declined to comment on it further
If the concept of the Apple Peel 520 sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the Apple patent application we covered on September 17th. The patent application, which was filed in January of 2010 covers precisely the concept of what the brothers Pan have created, and if granted could be a tool the company uses to send the Apple Peel 520 scampering back into the black market.