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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

An email from Steve Jobs surfaced as part of evidence of Apple's ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, has confirmed that in 2010, the company had internal plans of working on an "iPhone nano," a possible miniature version of the iPhone 4.


The email, spotted in a trove of evidence by The Verge, was sent by late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to fellow executives in October of 2010, months after the company had released the iPhone 4. The email consists of several different business plans for 2011, including Jobs wanting Apple to find its identity, its best selling points, and Apple's "Holy War with Google."

One section of the email, labeled "iPhone - Joz & Bob," referring to current Apple executive Greg Joswiak and former Apple executive Bob Mansfield, aimed to lay out the roadmap for the iPhone. Jobs notes in the email that for 2011, Apple would want to release a "plus" version of the iPhone 4 with improved antennas, a point likely inspired by antennagate, improved performance, camera, and software. Apple did ultimately follow through with that plan with the iPhone 4S.

The last point of the email is perhaps the most interesting, where Jobs lists "iPhone nano plan," with a "cost goal" and "show model (and/or renderings) - Jony" sub-bullet points. Rumors were swirling between 2009 and 2011 about Apple planning to release an "iPhone nano," which never came to fruition.

In the email, Jobs also listed wanting to create a "low-cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace 3GS". However, as The Verge notes, it's unclear if the iPhone nano referenced in the email is that low-cost iPhone Jobs was envisioning or an entirely different device.

Apple, up until 2014, had only offered one sized iPhone. With the iPhone 6 in 2014, the company introduced the iPhone 6 Plus, introducing the "Plus" nomenclature into the iPhone for the first time. The company has since drastically altered its iPhone strategy, offering a wide range of iPhone sizes, hoping to target customers who enjoy larger and smaller handsets.

Article Link: 2010 Email From Steve Jobs Confirms Apple Had Considered Launching an 'iPhone Nano'

Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
In my imagination
I would LOVE to see a BIGGER iPod touch in the same vein as the iPhone12. A full screen nano music player with the same storage (128GBs) as the iPhone would be welcome too, but I have a feeling that would be too much fragmentation.
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macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
the company had internal plans of working on an "iPhone nano," a possible miniature version of the iPhone 4
If people are calling the iPhone 12 mini a flop, what would an iPhone nano have been?

An iPhone 4 was pretty small already and I liked the size (at the time), but I can't imagine using anything smaller.
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macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2007
I think a small phone would have been an issue.

I have a bigger issue that this level of internal communications should have been released as part of an Epic lawsuit. Regardless of the issues, or desires for us to learn, I think there is an inherent need that communications need to be protected. Sure, there are smoking gun emails and I believe they can become part of the record, but all the other details that came out about plans, products and issues that had nothing to do with this lawsuit should never become accessible. There is no inherent right to know.

I know as an employee a business has the right to review my emails. But the press and lawyers do not earn that right by filing a lawsuit regarding App Store pricing, etc. and then have a right to see everything and disclose it.

Maybe I'm crazy, but don't we all expect a right to privacy? Lots going on in that field now.

tobefirst ⚽️

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
St. Louis, MO
I would have purchased this back then if it came out.

I have the 12 mini now, and it is even a little bigger than I would like. I wouldn't want something smaller than a 4s today, with how apps and websites and stuff have changed, but something the physical size of the 5/5s/SE with a full screen would be my dream phone.


macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
i miss him so much. he had such a better vision than where apple is now.
Me too, I always saw him like an evil genius …. Impossible to not have some level of admiration ( like Elon Musk). I write my letters to my staff similar to Job, I like that style.
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macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2021
Stands to reason he was referring to a whole new phone for the next generation of devices, the iPhone 5c is what they were talking about at that time.
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