Apple pushing nano-SIM standard on Motorola, RIM and Nokia

Nano-SIM progress

Apple is butting heads with RIM, Motorola, and Nokia over the next evolution of SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card sizes. SIM cards are used by GSM and LTE carriers to attach numbers and service plans to mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. After paving the way for the micro-SIM format, which has since been adopted by Nokia for their Lumia series, Apple is now putting pressure on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to recognize a their new nano-SIM format as the next industry standard. What's the problem? Well, competitors worry that Apple would be in a position to claim patents on the nano-SIM format, and if it was set as the universal standard, they could all end up paying royalties. There's also a concern that other vendors would be stuck with Apple's design even if they think they've come up with something better.

On top of that, Apple might skew the voting process, having recently applied six of their subsidiaries for membership in the council. This would oust Nokia as the largest voting member.  Service providers are all for the nano-SIMs, in any case, and they're supporting Apple's proposal to ETSI. Voting at ETSI starts next week.

The nano-SIM would be 30% smaller and 15% thinner than the micro-SIMs currently found in iPhones and iPads, and that means more room in smartphones for other good stuff. iMore previously heard Apple was intent on moving away from the traditional 30-pin Dock port towards a "micro-Dock" due to similar space considerations. (Packing an LTE radio in an iPhone will requi

Source: Financial Times

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Apple pushing nano-SIM standard on Motorola, RIM and Nokia

8 Comments

They better put money to research better and smaller battery rather than keep forcing us to pay for new sim card every time renewing plan and phone. This is the first time i hate apple's move..

You might not paid cash at the store, but your operator needs to have in stock now two types and if apple wins three types of sim cards. So carriers cannot reduce their prices for the cost of stocking new types of sim cards. It's probably not that big percenatge of carriers cost but still someone has to pay for it, and it's not the operator nor phone manufacturer it's you one way or another.

Pardon me if i am over simplifying things but it seems to me that all that is happening is that they are cutting the plastic off?

I understand that developing new standards and such probably costs money and all, but I really grow tired of there being standards where royalties are due just to adhere to said interoperability standards.
That said, I agree with the sentiment of some commenters that money would be better spent improving battery technology. I guess it's cheap and easy just to cut more plastic off of the SIM card, but really, how much is it really worth getting everyone up in a tizzy? Does it really save that much space?

The problem with Apple's proposal is that they want to make the drawer part of the standard, not just the sim card itself. While the drawer undoubtedly fits in with Apple's designs for iOS products, other handsets may be better served by a different casing. Nokia, RIM, and others say they have a superior non-drawer based design.
It is unclear from the article whether the proposal from Nokia et al wants the card standard separate from the casing, or whether they just want their version ensconced as the standard.