Despite disapproval from its rivals, Apple’s new 4FF nano-SIM format has been approved by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) this morning, edging out other proposals from the likes of Motorola, Nokia, and Research in Motion. The new card is said to be 40% smaller than existing micro-SIM cards, but it offers all of the same functionality.
Apple’s effort to make the future iPhone smaller and thinner has caused it to focus once again on making SIM cards even smaller. The Cupertino company has designed a new “nano-SIM” that is even smaller than the micro-SIM that was introduced with the iPhone 4 back in 2010.
Many of us are dreaming of a liquidmetal casing for the next iPhone which will sport a tapered, teardrop design that will help make the sixth-generation device thinner than its predecessor. However, a SIM tray that is believed to be destined for the new device suggests it could feature a box-like design similar to the iPhone 4S.
Research in Motion may be watching its mobile business crumble away at its feet, but that’s not the Canadian company’s only concern. It has sided with Nokia and spoken out against Apple’s nano-SIM proposal, accusing its employees of vote rigging by registering themselves under a different affiliation.
Despite promising that it would provide its rivals with royalty-free licenses for its nano-SIM technology, Nokia still isn’t convinced by Apple’s proposal for the next-generation of miniaturized SIM cards. The Finnish company has already spoken out against the tiny SIM, but following Apple’s offer of free licensing yesterday, it has labelled the plan nothing more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of its rivals.
Sandwiched between two layers of Gorilla Glass, your iPhone’s innards are a thickly packed tissue of silicon, precious metals, plastic and Li-Ion power cells. Space is at such a premium inside an iPhone that literally every milimeter counts, which is why Apple is always at the forefront of technologies that will make a critical component just a little smaller, a little thinner.
Foremost among these is the venerable SIM card. Apple first managed to reduce the physical footprint of the SIM card with the iPhone 4 with the micro SIM, and now they want to do it again with the nanoSIM.
The only problem? The rest of the industry doesn’t like the nano SIM, and now Nokia is speaking out against it.
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.
One of the first handset makers to really embrace the microSIM format was Apple. By reducing a standard SIM card size to about half the size of a normal sized SIM, Apple was able to deliver the iPhone 4, its thinnest smartphone yet. Could an advance in SIM technology help Apple make the iPhone 5 even thinner? Enter the nano-SIM.