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Sprint’s ZTE Peel brings 3G to the iPod Touch

ZTE PeelA lot of Apple owners concerned with getting wireless Internet access anywhere may have forsaken the iPod Touch in favor of the more capable iPhone and iPad. For those that didn’t, Sprint is about to massively increase your Web access.

November 14, the carrier will release the once-rumored ZTE Peel, which transforms second- and third-generation iPod Touch players into 3G devices. Users now won’t have to traipse around like a crazy person, iPod hoisted in the air, scrambling for a Wi-Fi hotspot. With the ZTE Peel, the iPod becomes its own Wi-Fi hotspot, and you’re just as good as all those iPhone users out there – except of course, that it has no phone capabilities.

Let’s address its’ baggage first. In the literal sense, the casing is going to significantly add some heft to the iPod. Then there’s the data plan pricing, which doesn’t seem sensible. For example, the Data Pro plan for the iPhone from AT&T is 2GB for $25 a month. For the ZTE Peel, it’s $29 a month for 1GB. However, Sprint doesn’t require an annual contract for the product.

Despite the disadvantages, the slider case provides a host of upgrades to keep the iPod Touch useful, relevant even. Two other devices can run off the provided Wi-Fi, and it allows you to run FaceTime while in transit. If all you really want are most of a smartphone’s capabilities and are willing to stick with your current phone, you’ve got yourself a deal. Hey, if you’re truly committed, you could just switch to using a VoIP for all your calling purposes. And if you defected from being an AT&T customer or have no desire to become one, then the data plan pricing may be of no consequence.

Aside from what it can do, what’s also interesting about the ZTE Peel is Sprint created it specifically for Apple’s product. Since the company can’t actually carry Apple devices, it’s certainly going to take advantage of marketing accessories for them.

Sprint will begin selling the ZTE Peel on November 14 for $79.99.