Talk of an iPhone Nano began several months ago, and in August, photos began circulating of a purported iPhone Nano with a 2.75-inch screen, no Internet access and a lower price tag than the iPhone.
The latest round of gossip was sparked last week with rumors that XSKN, a China-based company that makes protective cases for the iPod and iPhone, is working on a case for an iPhone Nano. The rumors intensified over the weekend when XSKN added a category of products to its Web site with the heading 'iPhone Nano'.
According to several Apple blogs, XSKN correctly 'predicted' the launch of both the iPhone 3G and the fourth-generation iPod Touch by selling cases for both devices several weeks before the products were released.
Although the iPhone Nano's lower price would be attractive to cost-conscious users, its smaller screen would likely add to the headaches some iPhone users have experienced with typing on the device's touch-screen keyboard.
Plus, the fact that Apple is selling the iPhone through Best Buy, and is reportedly about to sell it through Wal-Mart, means that cost will soon cease to be as much of a barrier to adoption as it has been.
Some bloggers have speculated that Apple might unveil the iPhone Nano at Macworld next month, but that looks unlikely given the company's recent decision to pull out of Macworld and the probability that Steve Jobs won't give his traditional keynote speech at the event.
Incidentally, XSKN, a 70-person company that claims to produce "the finest and most original silicone casings on the market," seems eager to dispel any notions that may exist about its adherence to fair labor practices.
"The XSKN factory in China is not a sweatshop," the company helpfully points out on the About Us section of its Web site.