A report from Reuters indicates that Apple has submitted a proposal for a new standardized SIM card design even smaller than the Micro-SIM in order to make more room for components and batteries inside phones.
They have already won the backing of the French carrier Orange, and the new design would allow Apple and others to make smaller, thinner devices.
“We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor — smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad,” said Anne Bouverot, Orange’s head of mobile services, “They have done that through the standardisation route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them,” she told the Paris leg of the Reuters Global Technology Summit. With finalization of the standard and technical issues still to be worked out, devices using the smaller SIM card could hit the market next year.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has wanted to tinker with the SIM card, as reports abounded last year that they were planning to use embedded, non-removable SIM cards, which would remove some power from the carriers. While the GSM Association and some carriers expressed interest in the idea, threats from other carriers to withhold iPhone subsidies reportedly resulted in Apple backing away from the technology for the time being.
It’s entirely unclear whether the new proposal is related to the idea of embedded SIM technology, or if it is simple a further evolution in the size of SIM cards as we already know them.