The tech world buzz surrounding the gadget invented by a family electronics team from Shenzhen that converts the Apple iPod Touch into an iPhone is having predictable results. One, business inquiries are flooding in to the makers, and two, state media is hailing the Apple Peel 520 as 'a Chinese invention'. Pan Lei, who with his brother Pan Yong, 22, developed the Apple Peel under the auspices of their company, Yosion Technology, said yesterday that nearly 30 parties had applied to become their agent in the past 10 days. He said that at least a third of the inquiries were from overseas. One was from a US-based mobile marketing company. It became interested in their gadget - which converts an iPod Touch into a mobile phone - after reading the South China Morning Post's interview with the two brothers. The new device encases an iPod Touch - Apple's popular media player - and gives it voice calling and text messaging functions by using a built-in SIM card slot and battery. To get the device to function as a phone, users must 'jailbreak', or break into the iPod Touch software and install software written by Pan Yong. Pan Lei said that to avoid potential copyright problems, some companies suggested Yosion should not mention Apple in the name of its product and the team should legally own their own intellectual property rights (IPR). But because of the mainland's bureaucratic innovation management system and shanzhai, or knock-off, culture, the device faces the ironic fate of hitting the market as a shanzhai product without its own copyright. Pan Lei said he had been told that a patent application on the mainland would take 11/2 to two years, not to mention the wait for other certifications which pertain to a new device with telecommunication functions. 'Of course we want to have copyright for our invention, but it will cost us too much [time and money] to apply for all kinds of official certification and IPR,' he said. 'Such obstacles are like big mountains to us small inventors, and we certainly can't climb over them.' China Central Television news featured the Peel on Tuesday night, labelling the gadget that is already globally famous 'an invention by Chinese'. The brothers said the CCTV report at first pleased them, but then they began to worry about visits from officials focused on certification issues. Some mainland lawyers and legal experts specialising in IPR said that without seeing and reviewing the device, it was hard to tell whether Apple Peel 520 had violated Apple copyright or transgressed in other areas. Yang Xiaolian, a Guangzhou-based lawyer, said her biggest concern related to 'jailbreaking' in relation to Apple's copyright. A new US law last month sanctions jailbreaking and the unlocking of iPhones as legal as long as it does not violate copyright law. But it mentions only wireless telephone handsets, which do not include the iPod Touch, a device that has no phone functions.