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Nano-SIM sparks new conflict between Apple and Nokia, Motorola and RIM

First we thought the micro-SIM was small, but in comparison the new nano-SIM is taking small to a new level. The nano-SIM is thinner and one third smaller then its counterpart, freeing up sort-after space for other functions and of course slimming out smartphone designs. If you are wondering who to thank for this tiny pocket of tech … it is Apple of course.

 Micro-SIM and Apple's SIM tray 


The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has now set its sights on the diddy nano-SIM and as reported by the FT, plans to vote next week on whether to make it the standard next-generation SIM. The tricky bit for Apple is that the ETSI is an industry body made up of telecom operators its main competitors – handset manufacturers, including Nokia, RIM and Motorola – to whom is in line to be purchased by arguably Apple’s main rival, Google.

Apple is also on the body and is backed by most of the European operators, but it has stirred things up by applying to be the largest voting group in the organisation, registering an additional six EU subsidiaries. Each of which, once earning revenues above €8bn, can enjoy up to 45 votes. The decision on this has been deferred and Nokia, who is currently the largest voting body of 92 votes, has filed its objections asking; “whether it is right that one group of companies can obtain a high amount of votes by filing multiple membership applications”.

The SIM is integral to the design of a smartphone and Apple has allegedly annoyed the handset manufacturers further by stating that its nano-SIM may require a “drawer” to cradle and protect it. This has been met with opposition from RIM, Nokia and Motorola, who have their own ideas that they feel has “significant technical advantages.” Given the patent-wars that have passed with the tech giant in the past, Apple’s rivals have also voiced concern over it owning many patents connected to the nano-SIM.

Will this mean we may see SIM cards becoming even smaller? We will of course keep you updated.


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