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2010 Steve Jobs email outs iPhone nano amid Apple's 'Holy War with Google'

Steve Jobs and iPhone
Steve Jobs and iPhone (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • An email from Steve Jobs appears to have confirmed Apple was working on an iPhone nano in 2010.
  • Jobs also mentioned a "Holy War with Google" in a meeting agenda.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs appears to have confirmed that the company was working on an iPhone nano thanks to a 2010 email about a meeting that was about to take place.

In an email made public as part of the legal battle with Epic Games, Apple's then-CEO Jobs was outlining the plans for a future meeting in his 2010 email, with an entry for iPhone nano clearly visible. There are unfortunately no more details, as noted by The Verge, although it does appear Apple was keen to meet a specific cost goal. Apple's Jony Ive was apparently set to show the iPhone nano off during the meeting, too.

2010 October Steve Jobs Meeting Agenda

2010 October Steve Jobs Meeting Agenda (Image credit: The Verge)

Unfortunately, Jobs' October 2010 email, which is an agenda for a strategy meeting, doesn't reveal much about the device. There's a bullet for an "iPhone nano plan," a sub-bullet for its "cost goal," and another sub-bullet indicating that "Jony," presumably Apple's former design chief Jony Ive, would "show model (and/or renderings)." A "2011 Strategy" bullet earlier in the agenda has a sub-bullet that says "create low cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace 3GS," but it's unclear if that is referring to the iPhone nano or a different device entirely.

One other line of note mentions a "Holy War with Google." Jobs goes on to note that the meeting will cover "all the ways we will compete with them" which is something Apple was very much all about back in the day.

Apple ultimately never shipped an iPhone nano, although the closest thing we have to such a device today is the excellent iPhone SE — undoubtedly the best cheap iPhone you can buy.

This isn't the first time an email like this has outed a product that never shipped. A similar email shows Apple considered a 15-inch MacBook Air a few years ago, too.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.