Consumers who have previously purchased the iPod Touch but can't afford an additional iPhone will now be able to make calls thanks to the upcoming release of the Apple Peel 520.
Originally announced earlier this month, the Apple Peel 520 was developed by Yosion and distributed to Chinese retailers beginning last week. The new peripheral--designed like a protective case--was also reportedly heading to the States complete with a dock connector, a battery and a SIM card. However no firm release date was provided.
But now there may be signs that the peripheral is coming soon. On Tuesday GoSolarUSA, the North American distributor, said that the first demonstration models of the Apple Peel 520 devices are expected to arrive in the States sometime this week.
"We're obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we're looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch," said GSLO President and CEO Tyson Rohde. "As soon as they arrive, we'll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country. The amount of interest in this product that we've received from distributors has been staggering."
According to the company, the Apple Peel device provides five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use on its battery. After installing the required software, two apps appear on the iPod Touch home screen: Yosion and YsSMS, providing voice and text support respectively. When the communication module is switched on, a signal bar and a battery icon will appear in the middle of the iPod Touch's status bar. To make a call, users simply tap the Yosion app icon which loads the numpad screen.
Currently GoSolarUSA hasn't provided pricing, however the peripheral sells in China for 520 Yuan ($77 USD). The company is looking to sell the peripheral in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart, and Fry's Electronics.
GoSolarUSA also said that it is currently working on a version that works with Apple's latest fourth-generation iPod Touch model.