As per old internal Apple emails, it has been revealed that Steve Jobs was working on an iPhone nano back in 2010. The email in question contains the agenda for a strategy meeting and refers to an iPhone nano plan, along with cost goals and early model renderings.
The email was discovered by The Verge as part of its review of the emails that have been made public as part of the Epic v. Apple lawsuit. Steve Jobs’ email shows his suggested cut of the agenda for the company strategy meeting, and some of the bullet points show that Apple wanted to replace iPhone 3GS with a low-cost iPhone nano which would be based on iPod touch design.
iPhone nano revealed in Apple’s old emails
There were rumors back in the day that Apple would release an iPhone model with cellar connectivity. From the details of the email, this seems to be the actual plan. However, this never came to fruition as Apple moved on to the iPhone 4 afterward, while still selling iPhone 3GS in certain markets as a cheaper model.
Apple did try its hand at low-cost iPhone models, with its first attempt being the iPhone 5c which was released alongside the iPhone 5s in 2013. It never took off, however, Apple’s second attempt was with iPhone SE in 2016 which sold like hotcakes.
It is also interesting to note that even though Apple popularly used the ‘nano’ branding for iPod, back in the day, the company has not used it for any product since then. Mac, iPhone, and iPad all have ‘mini’ variants of their devices, which are usually their smallest form factors. Apple has also re-used its ‘Air’ branding for iPad, which was first introduced with MacBook Air over a decade ago, and is still used to this day.
iPhone 12 mini has sold well but not as well as other iPhone 12 models, which has gotten analysts to question whether it will continue after iPhone 13 mini. Perhaps Apple might want to bring back the ‘nano’ brand name which was a huge hit with the iPod.