Apple Was Working on an ‘iPhone Nano,’ According to Steve Jobs Email


In the early 2010s, rumors circulated that Apple may have been working on an iPhone nano. While not much concrete evidence surface on Apple’s front, a new email from Steve Jobs shows that Apple was, at one point, working on this affordable and extremely tiny phone.

Spotted first by The Verge, the email in question was sent from the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, which outlines the meeting agenda for a 2011 corporate strategy presentation. Jobs notes at the end of the outline that reads “iPhone nano plan” with accompanying sub-bullets such as one that reads “cost goal” and that former Apple design chief Jony Ive was expected to show off a “model (and/or renderings)” during the meeting.

In the same email, Jobs mentions under the “2011 Strategy” bullet that implies Apple was planning to create a “low cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace [iPhone] 3GS.” Unfortunately, it is not specified whether or not the late Apple co-founder referred to the iPhone nano or a completely different device.

The email in question has surfaced as part of Apple’s current legal battle with Epic Games.

By the early 2010s, the iPod Nano was still one of Apple’s forefront consumer products. In September of that year, Apple announced and released the sixth-generation iPod Nano, which offered a touch screen but ditched the click wheel and had no camera or video playback. Apple would discontinue its portable media player in July 2017 — roughly two years after the tech giant released new color models for the seventh and final generation of the iPod Nano.

While the iPhone nano never came to fruition, Apple has continued to make smaller devices under the “mini” moniker, such as the iPhone 12 mini and the HomePod mini.

The email itself is one of the hundreds of emails that surfaced as part of Apple’s legal battle with Epic Games. The case was argued in May, and a federal judge is currently reviewing it to determine whether or not Apple violated antitrust law.

Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.