Steve Jobs email confirms Apple considered launching an ‘iPhone nano’ in 2011
By Chance Miller
August 19, 2021
Over a decade ago, a handful of rumors indicated that Apple was developing a more affordable alternative to the iPhone 4, dubbed the iPhone nano. Emails unearthed as part of Apple’s legal battle with Epic Games confirm that this is something Apple and Steve Jobs were mulling sometime around October 2010.
As noted by the Verge, an email included in the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit consists of an agenda for an executive team meeting. The meeting was to focus on Apple’s strategy for 2011 and to recap the company’s performance in 2010. This includes Apple’s “Holy War with Google,” 2011 being the “Year of the Cloud,” the evolving “Post PC era,” and more.
For 2011, Jobs references the iPhone 4s with improvements to things like the camera, antenna design, and processor. Jobs also suggested that Apple should “create low-cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace 3GS.”
The final bullet on the agenda simply reads “iPhone nano plan” with a sub bullets reading “cost goal” and suggesting that Jony Ive would be there to show a model or rendering of the device. It’s unclear whether this would have been the same device as the one based on the iPod touch, or another one completely.
Unfortunately, Jobs’ October 2010 email, which is an agenda for a strategy meeting, doesn’t reveal much about the device. There’s a bullet for an “iPhone nano plan,” a sub-bullet for its “cost goal,” and another sub-bullet indicating that “Jony,” presumably Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive, would “show model (and/or renderings).” A “2011 Strategy” bullet earlier in the agenda has a sub-bullet that says “create low cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace 3GS,” but it’s unclear if that is referring to the iPhone nano or a different device entirely.