Nano-SIM Card Standard to be Decided This Month

Apple has been pushing its own nano-SIM design as a replacement for the current micro-SIM for a year. As of a couple months ago, however, Apple was fighting with rival phone makers who were pushing their own SIM designs. Apple has even offered a royalty-free patent license to its design in order to convince other companies to sign on.


The Verge reports that the votes on the next SIM card standard are finally being taken and should be concluded by mid-May. Apple has attempted to counter Nokia's concerns by slightly reworking its design.

We just spoke with SIM card maker (and pioneer) Giesecke & Devrient here at CTIA about progress on the creation of the 4FF standard — the so-called nano-SIM — over which Apple and Nokia have been warring in recent months.

[...]

The company tells us that the ETSI vote on the 4FF standard that had been delayed back in March is actually now underway. Voting began for ETSI members in mid-April and wraps up in mid-May, mere days away. G&D is a voting member, though it wouldn't tell us which way it's leaning — needless to say, the presence of Apple's design here signals that they'll almost certainly put their votes in that direction and away from Nokia's more radical design that limits backward compatibility with micro-SIM and mini-SIM slots on older phones.

G&D also noted that since the nano-SIM design is being "driven by a supplier" -- in this case, Apple -- there wouldn't be a long lag before the new design was implemented. The current standard, the micro-SIM, took five years from ratification as a standard to appearing in the iPhone 4.

Recently, a purported micro-SIM tray for the next iPhone leaked from a part supplier, suggesting that Apple will continue to use that standard in the forthcoming device. Being that the new nano-SIM standard hasn't been ratified, and the fact that Apple would need some lead-time to incorporate the design into the iPhone, it seems likely that the nano-SIM standard would not be ready in time for the next iPhone.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
110 months ago

I guess this means good news for a radical design for the 6th generation iPhone?? aka the iPhone 5 :)


Yeah, im gonna take a wild stab in the dark and go with "The New iPhone" hahaha jk :D


Im sorta getting sick of this numbering thing anyway

its not like they say "iMac 4" or "macbook pro 5s"...

the new iPhone sounds......simple.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago
Really? That'd be ridiculously small.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago
It is frustrating enough to have two SIM card standards co-exist in 2012, why three? This is going to be a PITA for travellers.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago
I can't wait for the new iPhone to arrive, so the naming problem can finaly be solved once and forerver.

Btw, nano sim doesn't just mean thinner iPhone. In general it means more room for other phone components.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago

This.

On the subject tho, could someone please explain what the big deal is with this SIM standards? Is one of them technically superior to the other, they can't be that different from a size aspect that it would matter, SIM's are already like 0,5mm thin or something like that.


ETSI asked for designs for their new 4FF (aka - nano SIM). Apple responded with one design, Nokia, RIM and Motorola responded with a different design.

Apple's design requires a drawer to hold the SIM. 1p piece of plastic (with huge tooling costs) is fine on a £400 handset with £100 profit on each sale which sells in their millions between design changes, but on a £30 handset with £5 profit it becomes more of an issue. Remember Apple used expensive Liquid Metal just to make a SIM eject tool on the 3GS (when a 0.01p pin could have done). Nokia's design claims to allow greater options where the SIM is sited, how it's inserted, and therefore a greater range in form-factors. Once the tray is taken into account, Nokia claims Apple's SIM doesn't offer a significant reduction in size (smaller, but not by enough to justify it).

Apple's design is/was the same width and the micro SIM was wide - meaning users could insert the SIM the wrong way around into existing handsets with the risk of jamming the card in and damaging the phone.

Nokia claim that their SIM would be easier for users to handle, allow for more innovative device designs and provide something very different to just a SIM a little smaller than the current micro SIM.

And finally, ETSI had pre-agreed a number of requirements for the 4FF - i.e. they said "Please submit your designs for our new nano-SIM, it has to do X, Y and Z". Nokia/RIM/Motorola's claims that Apple's design does not meet all the requirements. It's like a customer (ETSI) asking a software developer (Apple) for some software to do some specific things, and the developer coming back and saying "You didn't really want that - have this instead."

Apple want their design as it suits them and their market (high margin, high priced phones). Nokia/RIM/Motorola want their design as it allows cheaper devices, and benefits all manufacturers. ETSI sets standards for the industry as a whole - to allow interoperability and good competition - not just for single manufacturers.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago
No SIM at all would be the best option, eSim would be by far the best option for those who travel a lot.
I find it a pain in the behind to change Sims, and since they are so small easy to loose.

Instead of buying a new sim you just buy a number, register by sms and your done, as soon as you get into another already registered area/country it automatically registers, no hassle of changing SIM's.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.7 With Fixes for WiFi Bug, 27-Inch iMac Graphics Issues

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:32 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.7, the latest update to the macOS Catalina software. macOS Catalina 10.15.7 fixes several major bugs that Mac users have been experiencing, and it comes a month after the latest macOS Catalina release. The ‌‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...