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Orange CEO: Apple's next iPhone will be smaller, thinner with new SIM

post #1 of 54
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France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said in a recent interview that Apple has agreed on a compromise with wireless carriers to use a smaller SIM card instead of an e-SIM in order to make the next-generation iPhone even smaller and thinner.

Richard heads the second highest network of iPhones in terms of traffic, behind only AT&T. France Telecom sells the iPhone in 15 countries under the Orange brand.

In an interview last week with All Things D, Richard said that wireless operators have convinced Apple to hold off on implementing an e-SIM project.

"All of us told [Apple] it was a bad idea because the SIM card is a critical piece of the security and authentication process," Richard said. "It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship. I think that they understood this point. We had a very constructive exchange and dialogue with them," he said.

Last year, reports emerged that Apple was working on an embedded SIM chip with an upgradeable flash component. However, European carriers, including France Telecom, were quick to voice concerns over the new technology, reportedly threatening to do away with subsidies for the iPhone if Apple were to move forward with the e-SIM.

According to Richard, a compromise has been reached between Apple and the carriers, resulting in a new SIM card standard even smaller than the micro-SIM used in the iPhone 4. Last week, another executive at Orange indicated that Apple had submitted a new SIM form factor to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Apple's efforts to redesign the SIM card are apparently part of its ongoing quest to free up space in the iPhone and reduce the device's size. "We are going to work with them in order to standardize a new format of SIM which takes into account our needs with security and authentication and also is compatible with their wishes in terms of size," Richard said.

"I understood that the next iPhone would be smaller and thinner and they are definitely seeking some space," he added.

Wireless carrier executives have been a source of iPhone-related leaks in the past, though some executives have had to rescind their remarks. In April, a Verizon executive claimed Apple's next iPhone will be a GSM-CDMA world phone.

Apple has also been rumored to retaliate against carriers who leak news. Last year, the president of a Canadian wireless operator claimed Apple would launch a new iPhone in June. Though the executive said his carrier would receive the iPhone 4 in July of last year, the company only began selling the smartphone last month, prompting speculation that Apple had punished the carrier for revealing the release date.

During the interview, Richard also commented on Apple's rivals. Microsoft and Nokia will have a difficult time reversing negative market trends, he said. On the other hand, Research in Motion is not "really declining," but has quality issues that it needs to address.

Richard said Orange is "quite happy with the existing landscape in terms of operating systems," adding that a world with 90 percent of Android-based devices would not be attractive for us, but we are far from that.

Richard also express skepticism about the world market for tablets. "To me as a user and as a partner, there is the iPad and there is the rest. I think there will be a world market for the iPad. What will be, really, the size of this market, is difficult to say, because in fact it is a new market."
post #2 of 54
If the size if the internals is such an issue for Apple, one would think that the connector would be a good place to start. Any engineering types out there know what the total install footprint (including any controller chip) of the 15-pin connection port is, vs. the size of Micro USB, or say Thunderbolt?

FYI a thunderbolt port is listed as 5.4mm tall and 8.3mm wide. With iPhone 4 listed at 9.3mm thick, it at least seems feasible from that standpoint. Speedy synching!
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post #3 of 54
Thunderbolt would be a pretty decent idea and they'd have to come up with a number of adaptors out of necessity/
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post

If the size if the internals is such an issue for Apple, one would think that the connector would be a good place to start. Any engineering types out there know what the total install footprint (including any controller chip) of the 15-pin connection port is, vs. the size of Micro USB, or say Thunderbolt?

FYI a thunderbolt port is listed as 5.4mm tall and 8.3mm wide. With iPhone 4 listed at 9.3mm thick, it at least seems feasible from that standpoint. Speedy synching!

Nah, other things will come into play before the dock connector: after all the iPod touch is thinner than the iPhone 4, plus the case is beveled meaning there's even more exposure. The dock connector electronics should be pretty nominal. After all, the iPod nano uses the same connector and that device has considerably less real estate.

Apple may need to migrate to a smaller audio jack first. The standard 3.5mm jack and internal connectors is basically at the limit on the current iPod touch.

By the way, the dock connector has 30 pins, not fifteen.
post #5 of 54
How can the new iPhone be thinner if the display is curved?
post #6 of 54
Because some rumors are false and others are true.

As a matter of fact, most Apple rumors are false, so whatever you read that didn't emanate from Apple.com is probably wrong.

Based on the Apple rumor sites' track records, It is highly likely that the curved iPhone display will not reach market.

On a side note, a curved display makes very little sense due to the interactive touchscreen nature of the iPhone. The curved display made more sense for a previous version of the iPod nano because the user wasn't touching/interacting with the display.
post #7 of 54
How can the screen get bigger if the phone is smaller?
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post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

How can the new iPhone be thinner if the display is curved?

Easy. The same way the iPod Touch is thinner due to its curved back, or the iPad 2's thinner because of its curved edges, or the Macbook Air's thinner because of its wedge-shape.
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

How can the screen get bigger if the phone is smaller?

Easy. Smaller perimeter ('picture frame') around the screen.

These must be trick questions or something....


Ah, I get it now. The rapture happened and only the dumb people are left. Er, wait a minute....
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Easy. The same way the iPod Touch is thinner due to its curved back, or the iPad 2's thinner because of its curved edges, or the Macbook Air's thinner because of its wedge-shape.

Nah, the specifications measure the thickest part of the unit.

The current iPod touch and iPad are thinner at the center of the back. Apple isn't measuring the beveled edges.

Note that both the iPod touch 4 and iPad 2's back are flat surfaces, except for the aforementioned bevels. The iPod touch 4 is different from the third-generation iPod touch, which did have a substantially curved back.
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Easy. Smaller perimeter ('picture frame') around the screen.

These must be trick questions or something....


Ah, I get it now. The rapture happened and only the dumb people are left. Er, wait a minute....

No that would keep the screen the same size. I can understand the phone getting a lil bit smaller with the current screen size but I doubt they'll be able to make the screen bigger and the phone smaller. Btw it seems like the dicks were left behind.
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post #12 of 54
Apple won't stop until the iPhone is 0.0mm thick, as in, it takes up no volume at all because it's been reduced by one spatial dimension. Hell, if Apple could create a phone that is -3.0mm thick, they'd do it...imagine a phone that doesn't take up space in the Universe, it actually creates new space!

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post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Nah, the specifications measure the thickest part of the unit.

The current iPod touch and iPad are thinner at the center of the back. Apple isn't measuring the beveled edges.

Note that both the iPod touch 4 and iPad 2's back are flat surfaces, except for the aforementioned bevels. The iPod touch 4 is different from the third-generation iPod touch, which did have a substantially curved back.

When Apple launched the Macbook Air, they were showing plenty of views of its "0.11 inch" thin edge. That was the general design theme they were pushing at the time -- the appearance of thinness. That was before they went back to chunky with the iPhone 4.
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

No that would keep the screen the same size. I can understand the phone getting a lil bit smaller with the current screen size but I doubt they'll be able to make the screen bigger and the phone smaller. Btw it seems like the dicks were left behind.

If there's room to remove material, it can be done by making the case smaller AND the screen larger at the same time.

We're not talking about the glass here. We're talking about the lit-up part -- the screen. There was a (supposed) spy pic posted in one of these Appleinsider reports of a new edge-to-edge screen for the next iPhone.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

When Apple launched the Macbook Air, they were showing plenty of views of its "0.11 inch" thin edge. That was the general design theme they were pushing at the time -- the appearance of thinness. That was before they went back to chunky with the iPhone 4.

Hard to compare the MacBook Air marketing strategy and the iPhone 4.

The MacBook Air's tapered design is because it's a notebook computer. The thin edge is because all that is there is the keyboard. It widens to the other side to accommodate certain ports (USB, etc.).

The iPhone 4 has a different set of design constraints, yet is still the thinnest iPhone from Apple. Apple needs to cram a certain amount of functionality and parts (speakers, headphone jack, etc.) into the handset and include a large enough battery. Note that the iPhone 4 was the world's thinnest smartphone at the time of its launch.
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Easy. The same way the iPod Touch is thinner due to its curved back, or the iPad 2's thinner because of its curved edges, or the Macbook Air's thinner because of its wedge-shape.

Not easy. The minimum thickness (at an edge) can make things look and feel thinner, but this differs from the maximum thickness which is generally the actual thickness. The edge thickness can be specified in advertisements for a device only if it's qualified as being the edge.
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

How can the screen get bigger if the phone is smaller?

Apple has reverse engineered the Tardis algorithm! I knew they would.
post #18 of 54
so what is it now? Are these stories written like obituraries for celebities....well in advance. New iPhone will be faster, thinner, lighter. Wow, Steve Jobs must have a serious leak if this kind of info is getting out!!
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Easy. Smaller perimeter ('picture frame') around the screen.

These must be trick questions or something....


Ah, I get it now. The rapture happened and only the dumb people are left. Er, wait a minute....

That is not a trick question, in fact people lacking the modicum of imagination required to figure that out is exactly why Apple is so successful and leaving so many companies in its wake. But that's why I love the stock market, the unimaginative are quickly parted with their money.
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dish View Post

so what is it now? Are these stories written like obituraries for celebities....well in advance. New iPhone will be faster, thinner, lighter. Wow, Steve Jobs must have a serious leak if this kind of info is getting out!!

If you hadn't noticed, this is a rumor site.

The folks who run this site will post pure conjecture and most of it will end up being false. Why? Pageviews. Forum discussion about rumors generates lots of ad revenue.

It's a shame that your web browser does not offer spell checking. My condolences.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

We had a very constructive exchange and dialogue with them," he said. . . . reportedly threatening to do away with subsidies for the iPhone if Apple were to move forward with the e-SIM.

I like that. "Constructive exchange." Do it our way or we'll kill your phone.
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post #22 of 54
Thinner, smaller, lighter. Could just be generic comment, but got me thinking. What if the iPhone were less tall, but just as wide? In other words, the phone version of the iPod Nano: all screen on the front surface. Screen could be same size, or even a bit larger, but just doing away with the black (or white) bezel altogether. There have been some patents revealed recently that involve compartmentalizing the screen surface so that different parts do different things--home button could be a region instead of a physical button. Now Apple's concern about shrinking an already pretty small card makes sense. Maybe that's how all this comes together?

Like the microphone at the bottom, the speaker could be put on the top edge. The shorter phone could be held just below your ear hole instead of over it. Maybe the recent hire of Mr. THX was to rejigger the speaker so that it vectors the sound at an angle to the ear from this position. Or maybe a slight gap between the frame at the top and the glass for the speaker if they wanted to keep it facing the front.

No problem with the mic being farther from the mouth as Apple has excellent noise cancelation already, and the phone mic is plenty sensitive.
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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

How can the screen get bigger if the phone is smaller?

It's like subtraction stew.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Thinner, smaller, lighter. Could just be generic comment, but got me thinking. What if the iPhone were less tall, but just as wide? In other words, the phone version of the iPod Nano: all screen on the front surface. Screen could be same size, or even a bit larger, but just doing away with the black (or white) bezel altogether. There have been some patents revealed recently that involve compartmentalizing the screen surface so that different parts do different things--home button could be a region instead of a physical button. Maybe that's how all this comes together?

Like the microphone at the bottom, the speaker could be put on the top edge. The shorter phone could be held just below your ear hole instead of over it. Maybe the recent hire of Mr. THX was to rejigger the speaker so that it vectors the sound at an angle to the ear from this position.

The biggest issue with a zero bezel handset is the location of the front-facing camera for Facetime and to a lesser extent, the proximity sensor.

The speaker could be placed at the top edge, just as the iPod touch 3 had a speaker whose sound emanated from the dock connector opening.

That said, vectoring the audio from a top-facing port still may not work very well in noisy situations. You can isolate environmental sound by pressing the handset directly against your ear which forms a relatively good seal. A speaker on the top edge of the handset would not allow such an action.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The biggest issue with a zero bezel handset is the location of the front-facing camera for Facetime and to a lesser extent, the proximity sensor.

Good point, forgot about the damn camera. See my updated post. Maybe the camera could live in my narrow slot at the top between glass/screen and frame?

So maybe not zero bezel, but minimalist bezel?
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post #26 of 54
It doesn't exactly take a Nostradamus to venture a guess that the next iPhone will be thinner than the current model, since each year's model has been thinner than the one previous. That's like guessing that the next iPhone model will be available in black...
post #27 of 54
I really hope that Apple sticks to micro SIMs. Operators in the UK charge iPhone users a 20-50% premium over regular phone users for the same contract. The ability to use any SIM card (with a bit of cutting) helped alleviate this problem.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple won't stop until the iPhone is 0.0mm thick, as in, it takes up no volume at all because it's been reduced by one spatial dimension. Hell, if Apple could create a phone that is -3.0mm thick, they'd do it...imagine a phone that doesn't take up space in the Universe, it actually creates new space!

Sounds like a menger sponge.
From Wikipedia:

"The Menger sponge simultaneously exhibits an infinite surface area and encloses zero volume."
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple won't stop until the iPhone is 0.0mm thick, as in, it takes up no volume at all because it's been reduced by one spatial dimension. Hell, if Apple could create a phone that is -3.0mm thick, they'd do it...imagine a phone that doesn't take up space in the Universe, it actually creates new space!

Best post ever......
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Btw it seems like the dicks were left behind.

Sad but true: The rapture DID happen. Alas, it turned out there were so few people worth taking that it passed unnoticed...
post #31 of 54
I'm guessing that will be tomorrow's article
post #32 of 54
make the dock connector magsafe.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

make the dock connector magsafe.

Oh crap! Yeah! come to think of it- no brainer! just like the iPad 2 smart covers- connector snaps on just like a magsafe. Good idea. Never thought about it. Makes perfect sense.
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

How can the screen get bigger if the phone is smaller?

I've heard that Apple is working on perception distortion using a new RDF known internally as Tardis.

There'll also be an API available later.

(Okay, just noticed that Paxman is onto this too - great minds...)
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post #35 of 54
We should have some rule to follow same SIM design for all mobile phones. I remember similar rule being applied and Sony Ericsson had to follow it. It was related to USB Slot i think.
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post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"All of us told [Apple] it was a bad idea because the SIM card is a critical piece of the security and authentication process," Richard said. "It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship. I think that they understood this point. We had a very constructive exchange and dialogue with them," he said.

"It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship"? Am I the only person who thinks that sounds kinda sinister? If it's security, I'm all for it. But that "managing the customer relationship" thing... I dunno. I feel like I've got a huge thumb-print on top of my head after reading that.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

"It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship"? Am I the only person who thinks that sounds kinda sinister? If it's security, I'm all for it. But that "managing the customer relationship" thing... I dunno. I feel like I've got a huge thumb-print on top of my head after reading that.

Its not security. Apples plan there was massively revolutionary - it would have taken back the market from Android. What was it.

Cheap iPhones sold off contract in non-carrier stores ( although the carriers could have them, if they wanted I suppose). Like iPods. You walk into Apple, or Currys, in the UK, or Best Buy. And there is your iPhone, priced about the same price as the iPod touches.

They have a programmable sim. You buy it, maybe for someone else, and they have an app on it with the different carriers vying for your custom. When you choose one, your sim is programmed to work with that carrier.

So buying is a breeze. Buying for someone else is a breeze, no signup. Huge holiday sales.
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post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I like that. "Constructive exchange." Do it our way or we'll kill your phone.

LOL exactly my thoughts... Upon threatening to remove subsidies *then* the constructive exchange began.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

"It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship"? Am I the only person who thinks that sounds kinda sinister? If it's security, I'm all for it. But that "managing the customer relationship" thing... I dunno. I feel like I've got a huge thumb-print on top of my head after reading that.

The telcos mean: "*We* will not be able to manage (read: own) the customer relationship". That's why they were freaking out.

Security? Please, that's probably just FUD to scare people from not using new SIM or SIMless technology.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple won't stop until the iPhone is 0.0mm thick, as in, it takes up no volume at all because it's been reduced by one spatial dimension. Hell, if Apple could create a phone that is -3.0mm thick, they'd do it...imagine a phone that doesn't take up space in the Universe, it actually creates new space!

It already does save space as it saves you having to carry around a separate camera, MP3 player, compass, computer, portable games console, Satnav, calculator, calandar, etc...
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