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iPhone Nano Rumors Show Nobody Actually Knows What Apple Is Planning

If I had a dime for every rumor that surfaces about an unannounced Apple product, I could probably buy myself an apple-shaped island bursting with iPad trees.

Last week, Bloomberg ignited the flammable Apple rumor mill with a report saying Apple is considering building a smaller iPhone that would only cost $200. The rumors of an “iPhone nano” gained steam after a Wall Street Journal report with more details about the device. It even had a codename: the N97. It was looking more and more likely that a smaller version of the iPhone was imminent.

The New York Times says throw all of that out the window, though. It has just published a report claiming Apple is not building a smaller iPhone, but that it is exploring the possibility of a cheaper iPhone, though it would “be similar in size to the current iPhone 4.” Like Bloomberg and WSJ, NYT cited anonymous sources for this information.

In the time between Bloomberg‘s report and today’s story from NYT, there have been hundreds — if not thousands — of news and analysis stories surrounding the mythical device. And don’t get me started on the countless “Apple tablet” rumors that dominated the headlines before the iPad’s debut.

It’s simply part of the allure of Apple; people want to know what product the technology giant is going to launch next, and the rumors start flying. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these reports simply are off-the-mark.

Actually, One Person Knows What Apple Is Planning

Above: one of the dozens of renderings of the iPad before its debut.Apple is known for its secrecy. The company bolted down iPad prototypes to tables and tracked every single one to make sure there were no leaks. The one notable product that got past Apple’s walled garden, the iPhone 4 prototype, only leaked because an engineer with very bad luck lost it in a bar. Gizmodo, which bought the device, has never been invited to an Apple event since.

Is there some truth to Bloomberg‘s report on the smaller version of the iPhone? Probably, but the same can be said about the stories published by WSJ and NYT. Notice how these stories say Apple “has been exploring,” “is considering” or “is working on” a new iPhone model.

In other words, Apple is experimenting with potential new products, like every other giant tech company on the planet. Steve Jobs reportedly scrapped countless iPad prototypes before finally approving the device that’s on the market today. We bet that Apple has considered or even built prototypes of smaller iPhones, iPhones with physical keyboards and iPhones of all shapes and sizes. That’s just what happens when you’re trying to design new products.

Then again, we don’t really know, because nobody but Steve Jobs knows what Apple is thinking or planning. And that’s exactly why the Apple rumor mill will continue to churn for years to come.

Now where’s my apple-shaped island?

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