So this isn't anything about Apple restarting production of these - just that they've had some returned that they are now reselling. If you want one, it's probably the best way to get hold of one, but it's not a long-term, or even medium-term solution to the "no decent small phone available" problem.
- Blink shell
- hooked to a tmux session
- connected with Mosh
- over a ZeroTier network
- to a UNIX machine in the cloud or at home (Linux, macOS, whatever).
It's not the same as running Linux on the phone. However, in some respects it's better. It's trivially easy to move the session to another device (phone/tablet, or computer), and you don't need to use the phone's battery for processing. And you can summon a ton of computing power if you need to.
Blink shell, an iOS terminal emulator: https://www.blink.sh
tmux is like screen. It's a bit arcane at first but it's worth it. (Mouse scrollback is recommended. It works inside blink.) Introduction: https://hackernoon.com/a-gentle-introduction-to-tmux-8d784c4...
mosh enhances ssh and adds roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and cuts perceived lag a lot by being smarter about the interface vs. the network roundtrip. (It works kind of like a online game engine that predicts network events). https://mosh.org
ZeroTier is an open-source secure virtual network layer that's good at hole punching so you can just have the real network completely walled off: https://www.zerotier.com/
Plus: Bluetooth keyboards work, and you can connect to external displays with, say, an HDMI dongle or AirPlay.