Head of France Telecom confirms smaller SIM card coming to next iPhone?

The head of France Telecom (which is the parent company of iPhone carrier Orange), Stéphane Richard, talking in San Francisco last week, confirmed that Apple would introduce an even smaller SIM card in the future. He also went on to confirm that Apple did want to introduce a device without the need for a SIM card at all.

As you probably know, Apple has been working for years on reducing the size of SIM cards because they need space in the phone. They even thought about a device without any SIM card, that is what is known as the e-SIM project. All of us told them it was a bad idea because the SIM card is a critical piece of the security and authentication process. It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship. We are going to work with them in order to standardize a new format of SIM which takes into accout our needs with security and authentication and also is compatible with their wishes in terms of size.

The only obvious reason for the change in SIM card size is saving space in a future iPhone. Mr Richard believes this to be the case too.

I understood that the next iPhone would be smaller and thinner and they are definitely seeking some space.

We don’t know for sure at this point if he has any direct knowledge of Apple's plans or is just making assumptions, and if he is referring to the next iPhone or a model for 2012. Either way it looks increasingly likely that we will have to deal with another SIM card standard. Those of us that like to change SIM cards and swap phones are going to have more headaches to deal with.

What do you think, is the space saving worth it, and how much smaller can they go?

[All Things D]