Rumors circulating way back in 2011 said Apple was planning an iPhone nano, its first budget iOS device. The handset didn’t come out for years and it used a different name, but new evidence proves the early leaks were 100% accurate.
The meeting was so long ago that the agenda appears in an email from Steve Jobs when he was still Apple CEO. After a discussion of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, the focus moved to the “iPhone nano plan.” There was a discussion of the cost goal and a demo of the device by Jony Ive.
iPhone nano got sidelined for years
Those who’ve been following Apple for years and have a good memory should be able to recall the iPhone nano. Obviously, no device of that name ever launched but the name appeared in rumors in early 2011.
The newly-revealed meeting agenda shows the design was going to be based on the iPod touch. The goal was a smaller, more affordable device that would sell alongside more premium models. As noted in the agenda, Apple hadn’t yet settled on an exact price but this was just after the iPhone 4 debuted at $485.
Exactly where the development of the iPhone nano went off the rails is unknown, but Apple didn’t introduce a budget iOS handset until 2016. And the original iPhone SE was $399 and was an updated version of the iPhone 5S from 2013 rather the a fresh design.