Old Steve Jobs email finally confirms Apple was working on an “iPhone nano”

The back of the iPhone 12 mini

Enlarge / The iPhone 12 mini. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Last year, the iPhone 12 mini flopped—a setback for lovers of small flagship phones designed for one-handed use. But as anyone who has been following Apple for years knows, former CEO Steve Jobs was an advocate for small phones. Now, thanks to an email written by Jobs in 2010, we know that Apple was at one time working on an “iPhone nano.”

This year, Epic Games and Apple have been locked in a legal battle over the future of the iPhone’s app ecosystem. During those legal proceedings, several emails sent within Apple over the years have been made public. Most of the press coverage about these emails so far has focused on various statements by Apple executives decrying sideloading, but we all knew Apple leaders’ feelings about that subject already.

Now, though, we’ve learned something about the company’s one-time product plans in an email first discovered and analyzed this week by The Verge. Jobs wrote and sent the email, which shows an agenda for an executive meeting about Apple’s 2011 product plans, in 2010. Here’s the relevant excerpt, with an explicit reference to an iPhone nano at the end:

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