Nano-SIM Card Format ‘Wars': Motorola and RIM Try to Compromise with Apple

Back in March, Apple was in a heated battle with Nokia, RIM and Motorola over who would get their design approved by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as the new nano-SIM card standard for the future. While Motorola and RIM were willing to work with Apple, Nokia held fast against the tech giant and slung a bit of mud around to boot.

Now, The Verge has reported that RIM and Motorola teamed up to add some tweaks to Apple’s original design and the end results look promising. However, Nokia has yet to make its presence known in this new compromise.

Yesterday, RIM and Motorola submitted an updated proposal to the ETSI of the 4FF nano-SIM card. Apple had originally adjusted its design of the nano-SIM a while back due to opposition from the big three. Nokia, specifically, had made claims that Apple was just hoping to make money off licensing the technology, and when Apple offered to license it for free, Nokia said they were just “cheapening the value of patents that are held by other companies.

Apple’s design ended up creating a stir that it would be too easy to inadvertently jam into an older micro-SIM slot. SIM maker Giesecke & Devrient eventually told Apple they had to adjust their design if they wanted it to work.

After a heavy debate that ultimately led nowhere, the battling mobile tech companies were stuck with the possibility of a fractured standard. That would mean Apple would have one nano-SIM in the iPhone, while other mobile phone manufacturers would have another. This is where the compromise was introduced. Motorola and RIM offered a merging of the two proposals into one design. Apple was dismissive about the venture, but said that it was “open to adopting both proposals.”

The new design is only slightly different from Apple’s original. According to The Verge, it is about 80 percent Apple and 20 percent Motorola and RIM. In fact, the only major change that was made was the addition of a “push push” notch that would allow the card to be secured in place with a small clasp and easily removed with another push.

Apple had objected to the notch design at a previous meeting, claiming that it would extend time to market by reducing the space for silicon inside the SIM. We will find out this coming May 31 if Apple still has a problem with the notch because that is when the next ETSI meeting will be held in Osaka, Japan.

[via Apple Insider]

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik