To make its iPhone 4 smaller and thinner than previous iPhones, one of the steps Apple took was making the SIM card smaller. This saw the birth of the micro-SIM, which is slowly making its way into other smartphones, such as the Nokia Lumia 800.
But Apple is still unhappy with the size of existing SIM cards, and it is pushing to make them even smaller for future iPhones. But other smartphone makers are against the idea.
According to a report from The Financial Times, Apple is battling against rival smartphone vendors — including Motorola, Research in Motion, and Nokia — in a bid to make its “nano-SIM” the next industry standard for miniaturized SIM cards.
All handset vendors will be able to use Apple’s design under license, but according to the FT, they’re concerned that the Cupertino company will eventually own the patents for the nano-SIM. Furthermore, the change would mean handsets must be re-engineered, introducing a “drawer” that would be required to protect the new SIM. Supposedly like the SIM tray in Apple’s latest iPhones.
Apple has previously been working to eliminate SIM cards altogether, choosing instead to use a reprogrammable chip built into the device. However, many carriers reportedly opposed these plans, which would mean they would lose the revenue they currently get from selling SIM cards. This led Apple to abandon the idea.
While other smartphone makers may not be on its side, Apple does have the backing of most European operators. A final decision on the proposals will be made next week.