Apple Pressures Rivals to Adopt Ultra-Tiny nano-SIM Card

Apple Pressures Rivals to Adopt Ultra-Tiny nano-SIM Card

Apple is using it’s leverage to try to force its mobile phone making rivals to use its chosen standard for the next-generation of mobile SIM cards. Apple has long pushed for smaller SIM cards, to make room in its devices for more sophisticated electronics.

Allan Swan reporting for Computer Business Review:

Apple is doing some backroom manoeuvring to ensure that its chosen standard for the next generation of mobile SIM cards is accepted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Apple is leading a bid against a rival proposal from Motorola Mobility, Research in Motion and Nokia to ensure that Giesecke & Devrient’s nano-SIM design becomes the standard for the next generation of mobile smartphones. Nano-SIM cards are around a third smaller than micro-SIM cards found in most new phones currently.

Both factions have submitted their proposals to ETSI, but the Financial Times is reporting that most of the European mobile network operators are in favor of Apple’s option. Apple is also lobbying for greater voting power within the organization.

Any and all handset manufacturers would be able to use the nano-SIM design under license to Giesecke & Devrient, but the fear among manufacturers is that Apple would attempt to own the patent outright. Also, the other companies would have to re-engineer their products for the standard.

ETSI will decide on the proposals next week. The Financial Times is claiming that some backroom dealing by Apple is occurring.

Swan: “The paper claims to have seen documents showing Apple registering six of its European subsidiaries as full members. Under ETSI rules any subsidiary with revenues of more than €8bn can have up to 45 votes, blowing Apple’s voting power out by 270 votes – this would give it more voting power than Nokia.”

Apple has long been a proponent of smaller SIM cards. It made the iPhone 4 a micro-SIM only device, which is a halfway stop between the full size SIM cards and the proposed nano-SIM.