Apple battles for nano-SIM standard in Europe

As you may well have heard, Apple is currently waging war with major phone manufacturers over the future of the SIM card.

Apple has proposed a new nano-SIM card technology to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute in a hope that this new nano-SIM technology will become the standard for mobile phones in Europe. This design is smaller than the current micro-SIM found in your iPhone 4S and iPads, which is already smaller than the original SIM card. Not only is the technology smaller, it also holds more information. Current SIM cards hold your phone number, and your mobile identity on any given cellular network, these new cards will be able to carry all your personal information, which should help Apple take over the world monitor customers discretely to improve security and user experience. It would also mean thinner devices too, or more space for batteries, which can only be a good thing. Apple is up against the likes of Nokia, Motorola (Google) and RIM, all of whom believe they have the best technology for the job.

Remember when SIM cards were this big?

Recently, there was talk of underhand tactics at play when it became known that Apple had registered six European subsidies with the ETSI, subsidies that may hold some serious voting weight when it comes to a decision. This revelation lead many to believe Apple were planning some kind of audacious manoeuvre that would see Cupertino leap ahead of competitors because Apple, being Apple, would patent the living daylights out of the technology so that nobody else could use it.

 “the Apple-led proposal has caused some concern among its rivals that the US group might eventually own the patents”

Turns out they might have been wrong, according to well established patent blogger Florian Mueller, a reliable source that cannot be disclosed has produced a letter in which Apple expressed:

“an unequivocal commitment to grant royalty-free licenses to any Apple patents essential to nano-SIM, provided that Apple’s proposal is adopted as a standard and that all other patent holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity”

Regardless of how Apple has conducted itself in the past, it’s quite clear that in this instance  Apple is acting with the best interests of the smartphone industry, and its competitors at heart.

In my opinion, there will inevitably be a huge fracas when everyone realises that all their personal details will now be stored on their SIM card, but that is for another day.

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Via: CNET, FOSS Patents

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