Is this the iPhone Nano? I hope not

Rumors that Apple is working on an iPhone Nano are spreading -- again. The latest batch of rumors began when an Apple patent was rediscovered.

Rumors that Apple is working on an iPhone Nano are spreading -- again. The latest batch of rumors began when an Apple patent was rediscovered.

The patent, which depicts a device with all the iPhone features you'd expect, including audio and video play, Wi-Fi, phone, SMS, and a still-image camera, has been seen before. Apple Insider uncovered the same filing just over two years ago. The patent was originally owned by John G. Elias, but is now owned by Apple, according to MacNN.

Elias is best known as the founder of FingerWorks, the company behind the technology that made the iPhone touch screen possible. FingerWorks was sold to Apple in 2005. In addition to his FingerWorks technology, Elias is reportedly working with Apple on other touch sensitive devices.

While the idea that Apple may be working on an iPhone Nano is admittedly exciting, there's only word I can think of to sum up the device described in this patent: crazy. If you take a look at the designs, the supposed iPhone Nano would have a simple front-facing display with no touch capacity, while the back of the device would have an iPod-style click wheel and possibly a numeric keypad.

That means you would have to keep your eyes on the front display, while your fingers worked madly to control the device from the backside. If you were working the iPod functions that may not be so bad, because you can use the click wheel without looking at it.

But imagine trying to make a phone call with this thing. If you have a regular phone, turn it around and see if you can dial your own phone number that way. It's a terrible way to work, isn't it? MacNN agrees with my assessment, but is willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt.

In the post, writer Jack Purcher says "knowing Apple, I may just laugh at just how easy it really is with a little bit of practice. Time will tell on that one." We don't need time, Jack, I can tell you right now: This design is nuts. There's just no way that a company like Apple would ever come out with a device like this. It's simply an impractical and counter intuitive solution (if you can even call it a solution).

It may be that Apple is working on an iPhone Nano, but I think the company would be better off just shrinking the standard iPhone the world is already lusting after. My guess is this iPhone Nano patent is just a safeguard to keep any competitors from coming out with a similar device. As we've seen before, Apple--and many technology companies for that matter--are patent happy. If you ask me, a device like this will never see the light of day, at least not with an Apple logo on it.

The real question this patent brings up is whether we'll see an iPhone Nano in the future. It's possible, I suppose. But given the fact this iPhone Nano patent has made the blog rounds before, and the many past rumors about a smaller, more compact iPhone that have never come to fruition, I wouldn't bet on it.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesAppleiPhoneiPhone 3GS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?