updated 07:30 pm EDT, Thu March 29, 2012
RIM accuses Apple of voting by proxy with ETSI
RIM made accusations in a letter (below) late Wednesday that Apple was unfairly trying to stack the upcoming ETSI vote on the new nano-SIM format. The BlackBerry maker alleged that Apple was having staff vote by proxy, presumably to inflate support for Apple's definition of how the card would look. Three employees for Apple had jumped from the UK division to representing international carriers, including Bell, KT, and SK Telecom.
A fourth had jumped from Vodafone's Austrian branch to Telekom Austria.
Neither Apple nor ETSI had responded directly to the complaints, although staff have said that they would have a statement after voting, which implied the practices weren't urgent enough to stop the vote on Thursday.
Apple was rumored earlier to have been trying other tactics to lean the vote more in its favor, such as having local affiliates participate to get more voting positions. Nokia is supposed to have the largest voting stake and, with help from Motorola and RIM, may win with its standard. Concerns have been raised, however, that it's attempting to threaten mass lawsuits if Apple's standard wins by refusing to license its patents for whichever standard wins.
Multiple reasons may be behind the supposed eagerness to fight back. Apple's royalty-free patent offer may be key, as it wants reciprocal offerings of free licenses to other patents to prevent one of its competitors from charging others to use the nano-SIM standard. It may also simply have prototype designs for the next iPhone using its own standard that it would prefer to avoid reworking for the Nokia-backed version. [via PCWorld]