With the iPhone 5 release date still unconfirmed, rumors are spreading that Apple is planning a nano version of its next-generation smartphone, due to be released most likely in June or September 2012.

Suggestions that an Apple iPhone Nano is in the works cropped up in the China Times on Monday, and buzz is already budding that a low-price-point, less-advanced version of the iPhone 5 will be released along with the full-size, well-equipped model everyone has been anticipating for months.

A Google #mce_temp_url# translation of the China Times article reveals that the iPhone 5's accompanying iPhone Nano would be released in order to target smartphone users who want an Apple phone but don't want to shell out big bucks to get one:

Rumored Apple this year is expected to launch low-cost handsets, to seize the low-end smart phone market share, the translation reads.

The Apple iPhone 5 is likely to be one of the most expensive cellphones on the market, so creating a nano version would allow the company to seize market share that it would lose by offering only a top-of-the-line product. Also, it gives Apple some breathing room, in that it allows the tech giant to include more features in its top-end models without worrying as much about putting off buyers with lower balances in their bank accounts.

The tip, which is just a rumor, is based on reports from unnamed suppliers in China who say they are working on such low-end iPhone 5 alternatives in plants in there, and that they are due to hit the market in fall.

The suggestion that such a nano version of the iPhone 5 may be on its way comes on the heels of a rumor that an iPad Mini, aka a smaller, cheaper, less-technologically-advanced version of the New Apple iPad 3, may be in the works.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told Apple Insider the company has been looking into the possibility of producing a smaller model of the iPad since 2009.

The fact that these rumors are emerging at the same time could be evidence that Apple is looking at capturing a new market point in all of its top gadgets, or could be an example of crossed communication lines, and maybe only an iPad Mini or iPhone Nano is on the way, not both.

But most likely we will have to wait until the iPhone 5 release date to see what Apple has in store for us, and be happy with our iPhone 4s and New iPad 3 until that day comes.