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Apple nano-SIM prototype pictured ahead of ETSI decision

post #1 of 25
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Proposals for the future nano-SIM format were revealed on Monday, just days before the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is scheduled to vote on designs presented by Apple, Nokia and RIM.

The "fourth form factor (4FF) UICC," or nano-SIM standard looks to trim even more mass off the already small micro-SIM used by handsets like the iPhone to allow for larger batteries, more components and a slimmer design, reports The Verge.

ETSI mandated that the new nano-SIM card must have at least eight electrical contacts, though left the layout up to the companies which is why the proposals submitted by Apple, Nokia and RIM have three unique designs.

Apple's proposed design, being prototyped by SIM maker Oberthur Technologies, looks much like the existing micro-SIM card minus most of the plastic edging. The contacts are in the same configuration as current cards and could theoretically be used in existing hardware if outfitted with an adapter.

Nokia says that Apple's proposal is in violation of an ETSI requirement that states the nano-SIM design "shall prevent the 4FF from becoming jammed in a Mini-UICC reader." Indeed, the length of Apple's nano-SIM card is nearly identical to the width of current micro-SIMs and could accidentally be inserted into a non-conforming device.


Oberthur Technologies' nano-SIM prototype. | Source: The Verge


The designs from Nokia and RIM are more unconventional and resemble microSD cards. The two variations are meant to be used as standalone cards while Apple's solution requires the use of a card tray.

Apple is seeing so much resistance because its rivals are concerned that the iPhone maker could claim ownership of the patents behind the nano-SIM format and subsequently charge royalties for its use. Earlier on Monday the Cupertino, Calif., company pledged that it would allow royalty-free licensing if competitors agreed to back the company's format.

ETSI is scheduled to vote on which of the three designs will become the new standard at a meeting this Thursday.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 25
1) Glad to finally see the design.

2) Disappointed. I was hoping for something smaller.

3) Nokia is full of crap. That design is about a 3:2 ratio edge to edge.

4) Have Nokia and RIM's designs surfaced?

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post #3 of 25
I like the non-Apple versions better, if Apple’s truly needs a tray. The tray itself wastes space inside the device. I’m sure Apple can devise an eject-hole and a clean slot-hatch without needing a tray.
post #4 of 25
Well it makes sense that Apple would go with a smaller card. Less space taken up by the card means the ability to miniaturize devices and their components.

Also Apple doesn't need the money. Royalty free is a good thing for Apple in PR and good for the industry.
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post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Well it makes sense that Apple would go with a smaller card. Less space taken up by the card means the ability to miniaturize devices and their components.

Like requiring a pop-out tray would not negate the savings in space?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


2) Disappointed. I was hoping for something smaller.

They did it in order to make it backwards compatible, using an adaptor. I guess it was a trade-off. It makes sense to me. It is plenty small.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I like the non-Apple versions better, if Apples truly needs a tray. The tray itself wastes space inside the device. Im sure Apple can devise an eject-hole and a clean slot-hatch without needing a tray.

Unless the SIM has a finished edge that matches the exterior of the device you need a tray or a hatch. Either one requires some additional HW inside. I think a tray is pretty simple where as a hatch has the extra mechanics of the hatch hinge. I'd rather be able to replace my tray than have a hatch that is broken and some hinge that is partially exposed.

Just because Apple is building their for tray use does mean it has to require a tray to be used. I can see Nokia and RiM vying for options that force Apple to use a user removable battery but I think it's safe to say that won't fly just as much as requiring all nano-SIMs to be trayed.

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post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

They did it in order to make it backwards compatible, using an adaptor. I guess it was a trade-off. It makes sense to me. It is plenty small.

I can see how backwards compatiblity would be good outside the US but from my PoV that isn't the most important thing. I was hoping for something much smaller and thinner.

i would still prefer a vSIM and that will happen, eventually.

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post #9 of 25
Look at that utter waste of space around the outside!

Is it true that Samsung is going with a seven inch sim-card that includes a pop-up antennae that doubles as a stylus?
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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can see how backwards compatiblity would be good outside the US but from my PoV that isn't the most important thing. I was hoping for something much smaller and thinner.

i would still prefer a vSIM and that will happen, eventually.

I don't understand Nokia's objection other than it's not their design. I don't see where it's going to be more likely to jam, I don't see what requires a tray.

I like the ability to use an adapter, it's helped me diagnose problems and to switch devices with an older one while I wait for repair parts.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Well it makes sense that Apple would go with a smaller card. Less space taken up by the card means the ability to miniaturize devices and their components.

Also Apple doesn't need the money. Royalty free is a good thing for Apple in PR and good for the industry.

Then it would go with Nokia's idea.

Apple's proposal: 12.3mm x 8.8 mm (that too without the tray)
Nokia's proposal: 10mm x 8 mm
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can see how backwards compatiblity would be good outside the US but from my PoV that isn't the most important thing. I was hoping for something much smaller and thinner.

i would still prefer a vSIM and that will happen, eventually.

That's a very cool looking SIM card. It also looks easier to handle than a squareish card.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackMohack View Post

Like requiring a pop-out tray would not negate the savings in space?

Smaller sim smaller tray. Compared to the ones they used in the past. Yes less space with micro sim tray. Good job recognizing that.
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post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post

Then it would go with Nokia's idea.

Apple's proposal: 12.3mm x 8.8 mm (that too without the tray)
Nokia's proposal: 10mm x 8 mm

My vote is for the smallest SIM card.

Where did you find the sizes? Is RIM's proposal also listed? Are there images?

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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

My vote is for the smallest SIM card.

Where did you find the sizes? Is RIM's proposal also listed? Are there images?

The Verge article has the dimensions. RIM's is 11 mm x 9mm.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post

The Verge article has the dimensions. RIM's is 11 mm x 9mm.

Thanks. I'm surprised Apple's design is the largest. I wonder if there is any variance in thickness though I doubt that would be as important as the height and width.

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post #17 of 25
It just looks like someone cut off all the plastic and that's it. What's next? Pequeño SIM?
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

It just looks like someone cut off all the plastic and that's it. What's next? Pequeño SIM?

The result shown here looks like something that Mitchell & Webb could write a comedy sketch around.

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post #19 of 25
The Micro Sim is already tiny, surely this is an unnecessary move? Or are we to require tweezers to pick up sims in the future?
post #20 of 25
Whichever one is smallest is my preference...as long as all the designs are equally reliable.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Proposals for the future nano-SIM format were revealed on Monday,

ETSI is scheduled to vote on which of the three designs will become the new standard at a meeting this Thursday.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]

that is quite the quick turn-around. or vote.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by haar View Post

that is quite the quick turn-around. or vote.

I think this has been going for for awhile, it's just now coming to a head.

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post #23 of 25
Jeez guys, who cares. Do any of you design or manufacture phones? My guess is no.
So why are you so bothered about the next form factor and why are you so bothered that the smallest one should win? I can't see 1 or 2mm making any difference and the user won't notice any difference.

I don't think that the space saved is important at all, it's about being the leader of new standards.

I feel that if they want to reduce the SIM size any more then Apple's version makes more sense.
A lot of people cut their SIMs down to microSIMs and this way we can cut those down to nanoSIMs with full backward compatibility.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Jeez guys, who cares. Do any of you design or manufacture phones? My guess is no.
....
A lot of people cut their SIMs down to microSIMs and this way we can cut those down to nanoSIMs with full backward compatibility.

Neither the Nokia nor RIM nano SIM designs use a compatible pinout, so no, you can't just cut those down or put it into an adapter frame like I've done with the micro SIMs.
post #25 of 25
Actually this is all moot anyway because all it is talking about is the plastic around the actual SIM which is the metal bit.

Micro, Nano, whatever there is only 1 SIM and it's the metal bit. The plastic is really a waste of space. Getting rid of it according to Apple's design makes the most sense.
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