Apple Proposes Standard for Smaller SIM Cards to Make Even Thinner iPhones
Reuters reports that Apple has submitted a proposal for a standardized SIM card design smaller than the micro-SIM currently used in the iPhone 4 and iPad, with the new design having apparently won the backing of French carrier Orange. The design would reportedly allow Apple and other companies adopting the card to design smaller and thinner devices.
"We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor -- smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad," said Anne Bouverot, Orange's head of mobile services.
"They have done that through the standardisation route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them," she told the Paris leg of the Reuters Global Technology Summit.
With finalization of the standard and technical issues still to be worked out, devices using the smaller SIM card could hit the market next year.
Apple made waves last year with reports that the company was seeking to deploy embedded SIM cards, a step that would remove some of the power of carriers over phone distribution. While the GSM Association and some carriers expressed interest in the idea, threats from other carriers to withhold iPhone subsidies reportedly resulted in Apple backing away from the technology for the time being.
It is unclear whether the newly-proposed standard is related to the embedded SIM technology discussed last year, but it appears to more likely simply be a smaller evolution of the removable SIM cards in use today.