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.