As the Apple and Epic Games court battle rages on, more and more private details about both companies have reached the limelight. Some of the biggest revelations have been about Apple, such as the company rejecting plans to bring iMessage to Android back in 2013. Emails from the late Steve Jobs have shown that at one stage, Apple was working on an iPhone nano, though not a whole lot was talked about. The device was mentioned in the context of an agenda for a strategy meeting in October 2010.

The email (as spotted by The Verge) is split into bullet points for different subjects of the meeting, and the last bullet point mentions an “iPhone nano plan”. Under this bullet point are two more bullet points, one stating “cost goal”, and the other stating “show model (and/or renderings) – Jony”. Jony likely refers to Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief who left the company after 27 years in 2019 to launch his own design firm. At the time, Apple had just released the 6th generation of the iPod Nano, and the series had been a success. While the company no longer attaches the “Nano” moniker to products, it was very much a name that carried weight at the time. Nowadays, the company refers to refer to its smaller devices as “mini”.

What’s also interesting is that in the same email, Jobs mentions that the “2011 strategy” involves creating a low-cost iPhone model based on the iPod touch to replace the iPhone 3GS. While it’s unclear if that device was ever released, it might have been in reference to the iPhone nano — or another device entirely. The iPhone nano never made it to market though, and it’s unclear what exactly happened to it. As The Verge notes, this isn’t the first reference to an unreleased nano device either from the company’s internal emails.

On August 5th, 2007, Jobs sent an email referring to a “Super nano” device, which seems likely to have been an upgraded version of the iPod nano. It appeared to be on track for a release in the first half of 2008. Apple never released an iPod nano at that time, although it did release a fourth-generation iPod nano in September 2008. We don’t know if this was the “Super nano” that Jobs was referring to.

Featured image: iPhone 12 Mini