While the rumor mill has been heating to a frenzy over whether and when Verizon Wireless will get its hands on iPhone, Sprint Nextel has quietly found its own way to associate its brand with Apple’s i-empire, in the form of a wireless case for the iPod Touch.
On Sunday Sprint will start selling Peel, a ZTE-made case for the iPod Touch, that will connect the device via Wi-Fi to its cellular network.
This means Sprint customers will be able to connect their iPod Touch to the Internet via Sprint’s cellular network rather than depending on Wi-Fi, a short-range wireless technology that is widely installed in places such as coffee shops or airports but more limited in coverage than cellular networks.
The iPod Touch is no phone but since it is possible to use Skype’s Internet telephone service on Wi-Fi devices like iPod Touch, then it could also be use for making calls on the Sprint network.
The device costs $79.99 to buy and comes with a $29.99 a month data service fee but does not require the purchaser to sign up for a contract.