Techworld reports the British VoIP outfit Truphone has come up with a clever way to have an iPhone on the cheap - buy an iPod touch MP3 player and add its free software to turn it into a phone.
The article points out that Amazon UK sells the 8GB iPod touch for Â£155 (â‚¬180), while an unlocked 8GB iPhone will cost at least Â£400 (â‚¬464.58), or a smaller sum plus a lengthy phone contract at around Â£35 per month. The extra money pays for the iPhone's GSM phone and UMTS/HSDPA hardware.
Truphone noticed that the most recent version of the touch still has Wi-Fi, which is good enough for the company's free VoIP software to route calls via that interface to its internet traffic centre, and then on to recipients.
Once the app is loaded, a virtual keypad is provided to dial the desired number; the only other addition needed is a microphone.
Free calls can be received by anyone running the same Truphone software on an iPod touch, users running Truphone on other platforms (the software debuted on Nokia/Symbian), or Google Talk running on a PC.
Truphone hopes to make money by persuading iPod touch users to call ordinary phones or mobiles, for which the company charges.