iPhone nano still in the pipeline?

While it may not be tomorrow's one more thing, could Apple be just about ready to release an iPhone nano? The Wall Street Journal claimed they were working on it, and while there may not be any new hardware at WWDC, there certainly could be soon.

If they do, would it be an iPhone 3GS style, non Retina device to keep compatibility, a third, HP Veer screen size added to iPhone and iPad, or a feature phone, shades of ROKR’s past?

None of those sound like ideal options. Touch targets on a Veer-sized iPhone would be tiny or congested, or another complete re-write for developers. A feature phone wouldn’t harness Apple’s App Store ecosystem. And we already have an iPhone 3GS that could be miniaturized a bit but would it be compellingly different than the original?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Best of Smartphone Experts, 5 June 2011

Next up →

iPad Live 60: iOS 5 Q&A part 1

Reader comments

iPhone nano still in the pipeline?


I still don't understand what an iPhone Nano would bring to the market. In his review of the Veer, Joshua Topolsky of thisismynext.com asked, "Has anyone every said, 'My iPhone is too big'?" The answer, IMO, is no. There is no market, real or potential, for a smaller iPhone, and I can't imagine why Apple would build one. The iPhone is the only iPhone Apple needs.

Why does no one ever mention the obvious choice? A retrofitted iPod touch 4th generation, retina display and all, which they only sell at cheapest with 8GB for about 220$ anyway, cut the amount of memory to 2 or 4 gb and add 3G, which should put the buying price below 200$ and then put that amount remaining into the 2 year data/phone plan. They could probably hit a free with 2 year contract price point. Come on, free retina display iphone? No brainer!

I could only see this happening if it was Essentially a touchscreen iPod nano with a dialer. There is a large market that still likes their iPods basic, hence the nano's continued success. Many people simply don't want apps, but would love stop carrying a feature phone AND an iPod.

I remember the iPhone nano rumour where people thought the design would be the 5th hen iPod nano with a touch screen and home button e.g this is the way to go

I think it could be something like an iPod/phone -- something that would allow access to the App Store but only via wifi. No data plan -- thus much cheaper in the long run.

Apple will not deviate from their standard resolutions. That is why there are so few fragmentation issues. Keep everything standard. It works.

With competition now fierce in the high end market (Samsung Galaxy S2 is the first real Iphone-killer), it makes sense for Apple to counter-attack given the iOS ecosystem flourishing. As iCloud will land today they could call it Iphone Zero...

Well, the way I see it is like an iPod nano - cheap. That's where they could pick up sales from people who don't want to pay so much for a more expensive iPhone.
People who want a 'personal phone' separated from their work iPhone or bb/droid etc..
I think its a good idea though...

I don't know it may be a hit. Now that my boyfriend has iPad I like using that more than my iPhone. I think I would like a smaller phone if I had my own iPad. As long you can tether and stream music. :)

Your mockup is still too big. I imagine it will be little if any bigger than the current ipod nano (ie wearable). The interface will be based on the nuance voice recognition technology, and have no developer accesible app store.