Sorry, Nokia, ETSI Chooses Apple’s Nano-SIM as New Standard

Nokia, Motorola Mobility, and RIM were hoping to prevent the Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) from adopting Apple’s new nano-SIM in favor of their own design.

The three were unhappy with Apple’s nano-SIM design, which, they felt, was too similar to the existing design and would confuse consumers. While Apple slightly tweaked its design to alleviate their concerns, the three still wanted ETSI to stray away from Apple’s pick.

Apple, however, was so eager to have its new mini card adopted that it promised royalty free licensing of the nano-SIM if it was approved. Why does Apple want its design set as the standard? Because it will ultimately allow for smaller, thinner, more efficiently designed iOS devices.

Apple’s promise was the icing on the cake, because as of Friday, at a meeting held in Osaka, Japan, the ETSI chose Apple’s nano-SIM design as the official fourth form factor for the SIM card standard.

The new nano-SIM is 40 percent smaller than the smallest SIM card, and 12.3 millimeters wide, 8.8 millimeters high, and 0.67 millimeters thick.

Apple’s nano-SIM will function in the same way as existing SIM cards, it will just come in a smaller package. It can also be made backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs.

Earlier this month, RIM and Motorola did team up to propose a slight change to Apple’s design – a notch on one edge to secure the card in place after insertion, but it’s not known if the ETSI decided to include the tweak.

As consumers, we will see the new nano-SIM in devices released later this year, as it will replace the MicroSIM found in iPhones and iPads, first introduced in 2010 with the release of the iPhone 4. With the new SIM, smartphones have the potential to be even smaller and thinner than before.

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