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Sprint’s ZTE Peel Adds a 3G Data Connection to Your iPod touch

It’s no surprise that many people buy an Apple iPod touch because they want iPhone-like abilities without being tied to an AT&T contract. They can play games, surf the Web, manage an online calendar, and do all sorts of things, but they can’t have the Internet everywhere unless you carry a MiFi around. But now with the Sprint ZTE Peel iPod touch case, you can have an iPod touch with a full-time data connection from Sprint.

The Peel is essentially a MiFi device that fits on the back of second and third generation iPod touches. (We’re not sure if it is compatible with the latest, fourth-gen iPod touches.) It claims 3 hours of battery life. It broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal based on Sprint’s 3G service and a second device can use its 3G Wi-Fi signal at the same time. This means iPod touch users could use Skype, Fring, and other VoIP-based apps anywhere Sprint has service.

The downside here is what you’re getting for the price—the unit itself costs $80 and you pay $30 per month for 1GB of data. Thankfully, there’s not contract involved. If you use the iPod touch’s full potential with video streaming from Netflix or playing multiplayer online games, you could easily use 1GB of data in half a month.

Comparatively, a Sprint Overdrive device with 3G and 4G service that creates a Wi-Fi hotspot for five simultaneous devices costs $50 on a two-year contract. You pay $60 a month for 5GB of data. The Peel may not have a contract, but the Overdrive might be the better deal overall if you need fast data for your laptop, iPod touch, or other devices.