Apple Pushing For Even Smaller SIM Cards For Future iPhones [Report]


Apple believes that even the micro-SIM is too big for the iPhone.
Apple believes that even the micro-SIM is too big for the iPhone.

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.

[via MacRumors]

  • joewaylo

    Just cut the plastic surrounding that SIM card and you’re done. Only trouble you’ll have is if you can plug in that new cut into a SIM reader.

  • shannon_f

    Just goes to show that even if there’s a great idea out there (Apple’s reprogrammable chip instead of a SIM card), if there’s no money to be made off it, we probably won’t see it happen…

  • tornacious

    The main reason for this is that outside the USA, lots of carriers (nearly all in Asia) are GSM and phones use SIM cards. Folks there like to move their phone number (tied to the SIM) to different phones. Going SIM-less would take this capability away, which customers would NOT tolerate.

  • fjer

    Guy’s, I remember this discussion taking place
    sometime after the i4 came out and it was rumored for some time that the iPhone
    5 (which turned out to be the 4S) would come with a virtual SIM card. Back then
    I really thought this is a smart move, and I haven’t changed my mind. I never
    really got what these little plastic thinks are good for. Nothing you couldn’t
    store on the 16 GB of an iPhone, so what’s the point!?

    The “revenue they currently get from selling
    SIM cards” … are you friggin’ kidding me? If that is really a provider’s
    business model I really hope they all go out of business with VoIP.

    I see the point of not letting Apple get what
    they want from a competitor’s perspective. Nano SIM; patent or not, I am pretty
    sure Apple already has it already anyway and it would probably have to share it
    with others – even thought that doesn’t sound anything like Apple.