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Apple modifies nano-SIM design to address Nokia concerns

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.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +4

    patents on standards

    Why is it that patents are allowed on products covered by standards? This makes no sense. This creates a monopoly situation where you're forced to pay off someone to join the party and because it's the "standard" you have no choice but to pay up.

    I guess Apple could design their own variation of a subscriber identity module (SIM) except Nokia probably owns the patent for that idea. Could Apple come up with an iPhone subscriber module that performs some of the same functions but does other things as well and get around Nokia's patents? This is the crazy thing about patented standards. They're like roads. If you want to go anywhere except into the wilderness, you have to drive on roads (which includes bridges over rivers, etc.). Nokia has patents on these roads and nobody can build anything similar to them without violating their patents. There's got to be another way to handle this mess.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Apple's sim-card

    Its old technology that has no practical use anymore, an Apple-id should be enough to sign-in to the network.

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