updated 11:36 am EDT, Wed May 9, 2012
Tech could show up in 2013 iPhone if adopted
Apple has modified a proposed nano-SIM design to accommodate objections by Nokia, says The Verge. SIM card maker Giesecke & Devrient has been showing off the design at the CTIA trade show in New Orleans. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute is soon set to vote for one of several card designs proposed by cellphone makers; a vote was, in fact, originally scheduled to take place in March, but the dispute between Apple and Nokia led to a postponement.
Nokia's argument has been that an earlier proposed Apple design broke a "no jamming" rule, since the width was too similar to current micro-SIMs. The new design has a small amount of plastic added to the edges of the electrical contacts, preventing people from forcing it into an incompatible slot.
Although G&D has refused to say whether it's supporting Apple's design, claiming that it works "with everybody," the company hints that Apple could implement the standard relatively quickly. "We'll see a product very soon after ratification," it says. While a 2012 iPhone is likely to stick to current standards, that could mean that 2013 iPads and iPhones will move to nano-SIM.
Apple needs Nokia's support if it wants to get its version of nano-SIM adopted. Although Apple has promised royalty-free licenses for patents related to the design if other companies reciprocate, Nokia has dismissed the offer, calling it "an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others." Apple, it argues, doesn't hold any patents critical to nano-SIM; Nokia has moreover said it won't license any of its own patents if Apple's design is selected. Concessions could theoretically win Nokia over. The March vote was also delayed, however, because of RIM accusations that Apple was vote-stacking.