A 2010 email from Steve Jobs reveals that Apple was working on an alternative smartphone at the time: theiPhone Nano. One version smaller and cheaper than the iPhone 4, which could have led to the birth of a kind of iPhone Mini several years in advance.
Steve Jobs was working on an iPhone Nano
The email in question emerges from the research of The Verge, which is diligently analyzing the many emails from Cupertino made public during the investigation of the Epic case against Apple. In October 2010, Steve Jobs had listed the points to be discussed in a meeting to be held shortly. Among the points of the “price targets” question there is one called “piano iPhone Nano“. The email refers to the fact that “Ions“, Probably the then head of Apple design Jony Ive, would have”shown models (and / or renderings)“.
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In another point of the electronic missive, the 2011 strategy. Apple wanted to “create a low-cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace 3GS.” But it is not clear whether the reference is directly to the iPhone Nano listed below.
At the time, Apple was still selling the celebratissimo iPod Nano, now in its sixth generation. Therefore the product name was not iPhone Mini. It also appears that the iPhone Nano was one middle ground between the current Mini and SE: Based on older and smaller hardware to hold in your hand. But still an iPhone.
The iPhone Nano has never seen the light. And the iPod Nano line was also discontinued in 2017. But it’s fun imagine what that product could have been like. Since it should definitely have been smaller than the iPhone 4, which had a screen of just 3.5 inch. Jony Ive is a design genius and would certainly have invented something iconic. But in the world where the‘iPhone 12 Mini has a 5.42 inch screen, the iPhone Nano would be almost closer to an Apple Watch in size.
Now we just have to hope that Ives will release the renders of that device, if he still has them saved on an old Mac. But let’s not hope too much: the iPhone Nano will remain in our imagination.