Turning iPod touch into iPhone, Chinese shanzhai technology at its best

| August 9th, 2010

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(PConline) Apple not only stands out from the crowd in innovation but also is a trend setter, its products attracted many companies in the world to make accessories for them, and even the well-known Sony could not escape. Recently a heavy-weight apple product accessory was born, when it was announced, which suddenly stirred up some huge waves in the Apple world, hitting everyone who pays close attention to the latest trend, making them to get ready to take out their wallets. However, this accessory was not welcomed by Apple, in fact it gave Steve Jobs headaches. It is a product that totally upsets the apple cart, so to speak. That is the “Apple Peel” that will turn iPod touch into iPhone.

Actually, when Apple came out with the iPod touch, people already thought about giving it the ability to communicate because it is extremely similar to iPhone. From outside, the operating platform almost has no difference for both, some people even joke that iPod touch is just a castrated iPhone. Comparing the two, the only thing iPod touch is missing is the communication module. And, only up till now this wish was granted.

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The birth of the communication vest, once again the invincible Chinese Shanzhai (Knockoffs) spirit was proven. Some people had tried to add the communication module internally into iPod touch, but this method is only suitable for a few with excellent hands, most people can only watch and salivate but not daring to perform the operation on their beloved gadget. This time, not sure which genius thought of the excellent idea of the external communication module, not only made himself quite a bit of profit but also satisfied people with iPod touch’s iPhone dream, truly a genius.

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The Apple Peel made by ZTE

It does not just end here, after the Shanzhai version of the product came out, how can the brand names miss this opportunity? Maybe iPod touch is meant to have the functionalities of a phone, ZTE (Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company Limited) also came out with a same style of Apple Peel, the model number was U3200, and it already started entering the FCC. However, what makes Chinese people angry was, ZTE’s model was made for Sprint only, it is not going to be sold in China. So it looks like brothers and sisters of China need to wait for the Shanzhai version of Apple Peel 520.

This Apple Peel actually made me think about computers. Once the computer had the USB port, it had the unlimited possibilities to extend its capabilities. Can’t get on the internet wirelessly? It’s ok, just add an external wireless card; Don’t want to use keyboard and mouse to play games? No problem, just add an external video game controller; even in a hot summer, many people already started using the USB fan…  So, having a computer really means having unlimited possibilities. So, imagine, does iPod touch have the possibilities like a computer? This time the Apple Peel was a perfect example.

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Maybe it is really possible. You can plug an infrared emitter into iPhone and turn it into a remote control, why can’t iPod touch? Maybe in the near future we can use joysticks to play iPod touch games, using keyboard to chat on QQ…. Even the Apple Peel has a lot of room for improvements, only to add a GPS module then iPod touch can be a navigation device too.

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And for the users of China Unicom iPhones, it is also a good news, if iPod touch can be turned into iPhone then why can’t iPhone without wifi to have wireless internet by adding a Peel? (some iPhones in China do not have wifi capabilities) This world is crazy, as long as there is a smart client platform, and provides support then we can expand to it to have any features.

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Actually, like a computer with USB, if we have standards everything is possible. iPod can be turned into iPhone, I believe many people will be attracted to this idea, so if the product is really released one day, how many people will actually choose to have this modified iPhone?

The choice is simple. There are advantages of having iPod touch then turn it into iPhone versus buying an iPhone directly. The most obvious and important one is the cost. iPhone 3Gs 32GB costs around 5,000 yuan, and iPod touch 32GB only costs a little over 2,000 yuan, adding the cost of the Apple Peel which is 400 – 500 yuan , total is still under 3,000 yuan, almost half the price of an iPhone. For some people the choice is an obvious one. However the product is probably most attractive to people who already have an iPod touch but do not own an iPhone.

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ZTE U3200 user’s manual

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ZTE U3200 (back)

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Will the Apple Peel have a market?

The product is not available to general population yet, we do not know whether it will withstand the market or not. However the user base of iPod touch is very large, even only a fraction of the users use this product it can be a quite large market. None of the less, the passion for innovation is still worthy of recognition regardless of whether it succeed or not.

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Can iPod touch 4 be turned into iPhone 4?

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iPod touch with Apple Peel

After the release of the new iPhone, it soon became the object people are drooling for. Because of its high price, many people can only dream of owning one. But if all goes well, the new iPod touch 4 that is coming out at the end of September should be similar to the new iPhone 4, like before without the communication capabilities. At that time, not sure how many people will be brave enough to turn them into iPhones. If people are passionate about this idea, maybe Steven Jobs will regret every releasing iPod touch as a product. I really like to see the American Apple integrated with Chinese Shanzhai technology everywhere in the world.

47 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. SDS says:

    In a sense the yuan’s undervalue is a factor driving a lot of this innovation to increase/allow local consumption of foreign products. An intended policy or unintentional side effect? You be the judge.

  2. shenmeniao says:

    why cant you turn an ipod touch into the same thing as an iphone?
    1. slow processor
    2. no camera
    3. no built in ear speaker
    4. crappy 3rd party phone/text software
    I dont understand why the zte peel would be sold to sprint since the iphone isnt available on the sprint network. i guess so people can use their shanzhai ipod touch cdma frankenphone on sprint? I thought the device that allowed for this transformation was made by yosion.
    I guess for 400 kuai its worth a shot! 3g data on an ipod touch would be nice.

  3. gagi gagi says:

    made by yusion. that zte thing looks like a 3g modem.

  4. Carl says:

    i’m gonna buy one for sure. with all of its possible defects, the price comparison is still by far more attractive. Especially to those who are not so much die hard apple fans but just want another phone for convenience.

  5. xray says:

    Creative. Esp. that USB monkey is charming…

  6. It is funny to watch Jobs in his handling of P.R. China – because he knows the CCP have him by the balls with all the manufacturing that occurs on P.R. Chinese Soil. He will huff and puff a bit from time to time, but like my wife says, “He just talks Big”.

  7. joe says:

    well said

  8. Charlie says:

    Can’t wait for this to come out. I have an iPhone but I’m still so curious about how this will actually work out.

  9. Lupin says:

    This story about “Apple Peel” is great. I love it.

    Concerning korean_guy, everybody knows korea is a tiny place surrounded by big powers. I can understand he feels so frustrated. But don’t worry, when you look at their history, it is sure in the future they will beg China to help them because Japan will bully them again if not already.

    Today, korea is already so dependant on China’s market that the only thing they have to show is their pride but nothing in their panties.

  10. Charlie says:

    @Lupin

    Everyone is dependent on China’s market since it’s comprises 1/5th of the worlds population and is growing economically so fast. Korea is a major power in its own right, despite its small geographical size (like Japan).

  11. gangsta joe says:

    i think its aweso0me and sweet invention i wanna buy it

  12. stuiedaman says:

    I say Canada is the joke of the world…go America!! Haha you guys!!

  13. john says:

    Cant understand the people bashing on this site. Look at what has been achieved – AN IPOD TO IPHONE. I cant afford an Iphone but having an Ipod the PEEL is amazing and I will definately purchase one when available.
    All you knockers need to remember what this forumn is about as nearly all seem to treat as a racist forum – get a life

  14. ibear says:

    It’s a good product. Chinese made it, but not korean.

    Korean are good at tech, but may have the best sour grapes in the world… Hmm I love sour grapes…

  15. OV3RDO53(uk) says:

    lmao you’re all really funny. England rules 😉

  16. PINAS says:

    So weak fighting nonsense. no track of goodness. then start war? idiots.

  17. PROUD TO BE CHINESE says:

    FUCK YOU KOREANS, YOU BOASTFUL PEOPLE STEALING INVENTIONS OF CHINA .DON’T YOU HAVE BRAINS TO MAKE OWN INVENTIONS? YAH I THINK SO, MOST OF YOU ONLY CARES ABOUT HOW YOUR ATTIRES WILL BE AND STAY FEELING GOOD .I REALLY LIKE TO PUT AN ATOMIC BOMB IN KOREA, JAPAN AND US

    • Fuk Yu says:

      WTF ? Chinese are stealing every single invention from the US, so what is your problem, thief ?

      • voiceofhomer says:

        That means the US has nothing China wants to buy, since China makes and owns everything.

  18. Kirit says:

    Does ipeel have navigation ? ipeel is available in Australia ?

  19. Kirit says:

    Hi peel available in Australia ?

  20. kaaya majjid says:

    hey every one there,am called kaaya majjid form Uganda that is EAST AFRICA.i have a brother who lives in USA,he brought me an iPod 4gs,i what to turn it into iPhone but here in Uganda we don’t have such devices,please i want to get that device is there any one who can help me,i can pay for it please send me an email if any one can get me that sprint.thank you very much.

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