Return of the iPhone Nano Rumors

With Macworld fast approaching, the rumor rate should begin increasing exponential. iTablets will be hot once again, of course, as will the iPhone Nano. Says MacRumors:

[iDealsChina] claims the product will be announced at Macworld San Francisco 2009. iDealsChina, however, has a very mixed track record. In August, it passed off renderings of knock-off iPod clones as the real thing and also claimed that the new iPod Touch would have GPS (it did not). The site, however, did previously have access to Griffin case moldings that appeared to be real. The sizes could correlate with smaller touch screen photographs that iLounge published in June.

MacRumors thinks such an iPhone Nano may break App compatibility with the existing iPhone and iPod Touch due to screen size and resolution. Shrinking the screen down using a higher DPI, like the iPod Nano would lessen part of the problem (though hitting tinier capacitive touch targets would no doubt be an interesting exercise in frustration).

What do you think? iPhone Nano for Macworld? And is it a Good Thing?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

striatic says:

conceivable....
the iPhone has a 480x320px screen at 3.5 inches diagonal.
the blackberry bold has a 480x320px screen at 2.8 inches diagonal.
so apple could build an iPhone nano around the blackberry bold's screen.
whether the rest of the iPhone's guts could fit in that form factor without sacrificing batter life? i don't know. maybe since the screen would be smaller it wouldn't need as big a backlight and since a smaller backlight would drain less power they could use a smaller battery which could free up room for everything else.
typing on such a tiny screen would be interesting to say the least. they might have to provide a stylus as an option.

striatic says:

it's the sort of thing that, if i were apple, i definitely would have prototyped by now. i'd be a bit shocked if they haven't.
that said, it's also the sort of thing they'd surely reject if it turned out to be too small to type on, depending on how much apple loathes the stylus.

john says:

iPhone nano or iTouch nano?

Glenn says:

I don't think it's a smart move at all. It would really suck if developers would have to start developing for mulitple platforms that would hurt the app store a lot. I hope this doesn't come true.

russd456 says:

this is such a stupid idea....a smaller screen is going to make typing harder then it is now... battery will be less... and it will have less memory. theres no point to comming out with this device... the i phone is not bulky at all... instead of going through all the trouble of comming up with an iphone nana apple should just up the mamory on the current iphone.. and sell the current 8 gig for 99 then the 16 for 199 ....

Steve says:

Either it's not true, or it'll possibly just be a communications device for those who don't listen to music, play videos, or play games, and just want a cool phone with the cool Apple interface. It's qwerty keyboard would still be much bigger and easier to use than a lot of non-qwerty phones out now.
I don't agree with assumptions that all iPhone features would be offered in a scaled down version. There's no point in that for Apple OR consumers.

The Bowen says:

The nano could be fantastic if it only consists of an iPod and the ability to text and call. Of course I'll stick with my full size but as long as apple doesn't try to cram too much in and the price is right it could be a top seller.

ANA says:

The screen would be too small. Stylus are annoying to use.

striatic says:

if you did all of your typing with the phone flipped horizontally, it wouldn't be much different than typing on the current iphone in portrait mode.

Deathscaller says:

I would rather see an iPhone with wifi type N before seeing an iPhone nano

Steve says:

Russ, you could be absolutely right about it being "a stupid idea." But then again, doesn't it really depend on what exactly an iPhone Nano would be, rather than what current iPhone users like ourselves expect?
Currently, I'm the only one in my circle of friends (my age) with an iPhone. Despite my efforts, they all say they wouldn't buy one because it has "too much stuff" and that they "just want a phone." But they really like the interface and the menu animations. If older folks could enjoy the technology and trendiness of the iPhone with calling, visual voicemail, emailing, and perhaps even GPS... without the bother and added expense of iPods and iTunes and YouTube and games that don't interest them, they most certainly would buy an alternative cheaper version. And I'm sure Steve Jobs, being not much older than myself, is well aware of this fact. Whether or not it's a worthwhile business move (like Mac mini) is another question, of course. But since they're already trampling on the smartphone market, why not the basic cell phone market too? Maybe they've discovered other touch screen copycats are already making that move because they can't compete with the iPhone when it comes to features. Who knows.
To simply develop a smaller full-featured iPhone while ignoring a demographic who would appreciate and benefit from less features at a lower price, again, is just pointless... and isn't Apple's way of doing things. It won't happen.
Apple never "Thinks the Same".... they "Think Different."

Mr. Hi-Definition says:

I don't think there will ever be an iPhone Nano, but there will probably be a new device that Apple presents come MacWorld...