Blackberry maker RIM recently proposed a new nano-SIM card design to counter one proposal made by Apple to the the European Telecommunications Standards Instititute. One of the major points of contention surrounds the use of a SIM tray; Apple wanted to use one, which effectively would impose their SIM tray design on other manufacturers, but it would be interoperable with existing SIM formats since the pin footprint in Apple's layout is exactly the same as the old generation SIM cards. Meanwhile Motorola, RIM, and (until recently) Nokia were pushing a tray-less design with a fingernail catch, not unlike what we see on microSD memory cards. Apple's original nano-SIM design was as long as the old mini SIM was wide, which could easily confuse consumers, lead to jamming, and consequently more repairs and returns. RIM and Motorola's countered that adapters are unreliable and can't hold a card securely against the contacts, but still offered the compromise that you see above.

Despite the compromise offered here by RIM, nobody could agree after an informal vote, which isn't much of a surprise given Apple herded in sympathetic partners to the association. Ultimately, if these guys can't find common ground, it's entirely possible that we'll see two nano SIM standards floating around: one made by Apple, and one used by everybody else. You can imagine what a headache that could be for all parties involved, particularly carriers. It seems like most parties adopted micro SIM without too much of a fight, and that was also a charge led by Apple with the iPhone 4; could the same bullheadedness get other manufacturers to just go along with Apple again? Why is Apple so hell-bent on their particular design anyway? How would carriers side in all of this?

If you're interested in poking around the ETSI documentation, it's all somewhere in here; the particulars of RIM's latest proposal are available here.

Source: The Verge