Monday, August 16, 2010

Want a Peel for Your iPod Touch?

So, do you want a Peel for your iPod Touch?

Yes, it’s a clever little play on Apple’s brand, the Peel – a device that Sprint may soon offer to iPod Touch owners enabling them to communicate over Sprint’s cell network for an as-yet undetermined monthly charge.

A Chinese company’s version of a similar product (also using the clever Peel name) is the one getting the press, but it has a few disadvantages, according to some reviews. The biggest: It’s available only in China. Sprint’s version, however, may also run into trouble, as Apple is, well, kinda proprietary about its products. It appears, though, that Sprint would keep the Peel-enabled iPod Touches to data only – no voice, thus not cutting into the iPhone market. That might help take the curse off it. Then again, given the capriciousness of Apple, it might not.

Would I buy one? I’d consider it. I can see the utility – I have an hour and a half commute home every night on the bus that a 3G-enabled iPod Touch would certainly help to fill. But it all comes down to the pricing. If I could have unlimited access for, say $20 a month, it enters the realm of maybe. Or a pay-as-you-go model might work as well and would certainly curb my use of the device to essential use only, while at the same time not overloading Sprint’s network.

Of course, I'd have to buy a 64gig iPod Touch. So maybe if the utility is there, the price-savings isn't.

Then there's the aggravation factor. When I travel, I enjoy being Internetless while on the road. I can pick up free wi-fi at hotels and such for when I’m really jonesing for an online fix. The ability to surf the web or check e-mail no matter where I am still seems, at the bottom of all things, an expense I can do without.

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