Perhaps the two most well-known chip foundries in the business, chip makers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp. are set to get the contract to make chips for an iPhone Nano. The chip orders may come in March and the launch of Apple’s iPhone Nano is expected to take place in June this year at the earliest. Nvidia’s CEO insisted that Samsung, widely thought to be the processor supplier for the processor inside the iPhone, merely “fabbed” the chip. In his view, Apple was the chief designer of the ARM-based processor that’s used to run the iPhone and presumably the iPhone 3G with Samsung just providing the factory. Future designs of the iPhone are rumored to be completely designed and manufactured by Apple’s recently acquired company, P.A. Semi.

     There’s a theory that the real iPhone Nano is merely the knock-off versions sold in the markets in China and other places in Asia, which has proven so popular that demand has grown for cases. No other details were reported. Rumors first appeared about such a device in 2007, shortly after the launch of the original iPhone, but quickly died. They were revived late last year when an iPhone case manufacturer added an “iPhone Nano” category to its products. Checks with suppliers show that AT&T has not received the device yet for testing, which indicates that China could be the likely launch venue for the iPhone Nano and a new Apple relationship with China Mobile or another carrier. If this iPhone really does exist, a June launch would make sense given the pattern set in 2007 and 2008.