Chinese Case That Turns iPod touch Into iPhone Set for U.S. Sales

A pair of enterprising Chinese engineers have developed a case that fits around the iPod touch, turning it into an iPhone. That's all well and good in China, where the long legal arm of Apple isn't going to be able to reach them, but what if the device, called the Apple Peel 520, comes to the U.S.? That question may be answered soon.

Pan Lei, 25, and Pan Yong 23, are the Chinese brothers who invented the device. The Apple Peel 520 is a case that includes a circuit board, a battery, dock connector and SIM card. Wrapped around a jailbroken iPod touch, after software is installed, it allows the iPod touch to act just like an iPhone. After all, the iPod touch has been called the phone-less iPhone.

Until now this device has been restricted to China. Now, however, Go Solar USA has signed a deal with the Brothers Pan's company, Shenzhen, China-based Yosion Technology Co., to bring the Apple Peel 520 to the U.S.

Go Solar USA's website even teaches consumers how to jailbreak their iPhone. The Apple Peel 520 is priced at $60.

The question is, will Apple allow this to stand? Jonathan Hudis, chairman of the American Bar Association’s Trademarks and Unfair Competition Division, told Bloomberg, “The brothers who invented this Apple Peel probably ran down a list of how many ways could they annoy Steve Jobs. I could not see Apple standing by to let this continue, especially if it results in product shipping into the United States.”

So far, the company's only comment has come from Jill Tan, a Hong Kong-based Apple spokeswoman, who indicated that Apple was aware of the Apple Peel 520, and that any such iPod touch tampering would (obviously) void the warranty.