updated 05:43 pm EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
Miniature Sim orders signal impending launch
Apple's European mobile partners are preparing for the launch of the iPhone 5 by placing multiple orders with chipmakers for the nano-SIM card that will likely be featured in the smartphone. The device has yet to be announced, but The Financial Times reports that operators have begun ordering the cards by the millions in anticipation. The move is said to be a way of avoiding supply problems operators experienced when the iPhone 4 and original iPad launched two years ago.
At 12.3x18.104.22.168mm, the nano-SIM design is 40 percent smaller than the micro-SIM card, allowing for devices featuring the card to have a thinner chassis. The design was recently approved for use by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, concluding a struggle between Apple and Nokia over whose design would become the standard. Nokia, which claimed that Apple's design constituted an attempt to devalue Nokia's own SIM card patents, is not expected to use the new design in the next iteration of its Lumia line, set to debut this fall.
Motorola and RIM are also said to be concerned over the possibility of Apple owning nano-SIM patents. Those two companies proposed the addition of a notch to the design of the nano-SIM, which would allow nano-SIM slots to work without a tray. Samsung, too, has weighed in on the debate, voicing concerns over the voting process leading up to a final design. Samsung alleged that some companies attempting to include themselves in the process could in fact be proxies for Apple. The iPhone maker, meanwhile, has promised royalty-free licensing of its nano-SIM technology.