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Nokia calls Apple nano-sim pledge 'attempt to devalue' competitors' IP

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Ahead of a European standards-setting organization vote on competing nano-SIM proposals from Nokia and Apple, the Finnish handset maker has dismissed Apple's offer of royalty-free licenses as seemingly "no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others."

Earlier this month, Apple pledged to offer royalty-free licenses to any patents essential to its proposed nano-SIM standard provided the specification is accepted by the European Telecommunications Standards institute (ETSI) and all other patent holders accept the same terms with reciprocity.

However, a Nokia spokesman told IDG that the company is unaware of any essential patents that Apple holds for the proposal.

"In light of this, Apple's proposal for royalty-free licensing seems no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others," he said.

Photos of prototype versions of Apple's proposed standard emerged on Monday. According to The Verge, Apple's design is "in many ways the least controversial" because it maintains the old configuration of electrical contacts.


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


Nokia also alleges that Apple's proposal does not meet the ETSI's requirements. The handset maker argues that the similarity between the length of Apple's nano-SIM and the width of current-generation micro-SIMs would violate a "no jamming" rule from the standards-setting body.

The ETSI is scheduled to vote on the "fourth form factor (4FF)UICC" proposals on Thursday.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 68
I don't see Nokia's PoV on this. There design is more squared than Apple's design.

Personally I'd prefer the Nokia SIM only because it's the smallest. RiM's looked appealing at first will all connectors at one end which means it could be further shrunk but then I noticed the 9th contact to the left.

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post #3 of 68
The new nano-SIM might take up less space in a phone, but the current micro-SIM is pretty damn hard to manipulate as it is.
post #4 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

The new nano-SIM might take up less space in a phone, but the current micro-SIM is pretty damn hard to manipulate as it is.

Which is why getting rid of the physical SIM is the way to go for consumers.

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post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

The new nano-SIM might take up less space in a phone, but the current micro-SIM is pretty damn hard to manipulate as it is.

Apple should just do away with the sim altogether.

I can't imagine the need for sims anyway. Yah it's convenient to just pop your sim in and out of your phone at the whim of a dime but seriously who even swaps out their sims nowadays?

Why can't they just make a damn phone smart enough to have you input your details.

Just punch in your phone number, punch in your personal access code and the phone will contact the network and provision itself. If you lose the phone, you lose the sim anyway. Once the phone is provisioned that sim is locked, if you want to transfer your sim you just either "hold phone a next to phone b" and do a transfer of account via bluetooth or some other wireless method.

Or just reenter the credentials on phone b and accept the ToS on that device and have the previous device shut off from the network.

I agree that it serves no purpose but to devalue the competition. A cell phone maker should not be the one who standardizes a component that serves to the vital function of the core technology itself.

It should be an outside party who takes input from all carriers to come to an "agreement" as to what should be the standard.

Please don't argue emergency situations because all phones with a sim or not can dial 911 if the phone can communicate on the network band. Even my old deactivated sprint phone still managed to call 911 and I can't even put a sim in it.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame808 View Post

Apple should just do away with the sim altogether.

They tried and got shot down. Despite Apple's power in this market there are apparently certain things they can't do.

Quote:
...if you want to transfer your sim you just either "hold phone a next to phone b" and do a transfer of account via bluetooth or some other wireless method.

This is where I disagree. We're only talking about a handful of numbers, but important numbers. This needs to require a PIN to be accessed and needs to be protected from being transmitted via Bluetooth. The time it would take to set up the pairing you could have already copied the numbers over.

Plus, a vSIM might require a low-level entry into some special storage area of the mobile baseband and not directly written via the OS. That's at least one way I might tackle the situation.

Quote:
I agree that it serves no purpose but to devalue the competition. A cell phone maker should not be the one who standardizes a component that serves to the vital function of the core technology itself.

It should be an outside party who takes input from all carriers to come to an "agreement" as to what should be the standard.

Yeah, but then Nokia's claims against Apple would also fall on itself and RiM. Personally, I want a phone maker designing the SIM that goes into phones and not the carriers.

Plus, regardless of who creates the design it's still becoming an ETSI standard. There are lots of open and/or free standards created by for-profit companies. Apple does quite a bit of this.

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post #7 of 68
In other words, Apple wishes to replace Nokia's SIM technology with a free one?
What a travesty that would be.
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Which is why getting rid of the physical SIM is the way to go for consumers.

Barring that however, Apple's design is clearly the winner in that it appears to be 100% backward compatible.

With the contacts being the exact same size and shape these SIMS could easily be popped into a plastic do-hicky to make them up to either micro or full sized sims.
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame808 View Post

I can't imagine the need for sims anyway. Yah it's convenient to just pop your sim in and out of your phone at the whim of a dime but seriously who even swaps out their sims nowadays?

Being able to swap sims is great when visiting foreign countries.
post #10 of 68
Apple's is by far the largest at 12.3 x 8.8mm - not much smaller than today's 12 x 15mm Micro SIM.
Nokia's 10 x 8mm is the smallest, so why not go for it?

Nokia's point is that 12.3mm is too close to 12mm. Someone trying to put a nano SIM into a Micro SIM slot will jam the slot up.
post #11 of 68
Meanwhile Verizon twiddles thumbs.

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post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

Apple's is by far the largest at 12.3 x 8.8mm - not much smaller than today's 12 x 15mm Micro SIM.
Nokia's 10 x 8mm is the smallest, so why not go for it?

Nokia's point is that 12.3mm is too close to 12mm. Someone trying to put a nano SIM into a Micro SIM slot will jam the slot up.

Micro-SIM = 180 mm^2

Apple's design = 108.24 mm^2
RiM's design = 99 mm^2
Nokia's design = 80 mm^2

Apple's in nearly half the size. I do think Nokia has an argument that it might be confusing when looking at the contacts but how much weight does backwards compatibility hold? If we're going to not make it backwards compatible then why not choose something that is radically different and smaller for the future. I hope there are other designs under consideration.

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post #13 of 68
They should do away with the sims. Sim cards are a way for people like Nokia to make other hardware vendors dependent on their ip. Nokia will try to use FRAND as a defense to legitimate claims of infringement. Sims are also a way for carriers to lock down devices so consumers have to pay lots of money to switch carriers on the spot when the service is unsatisfactory.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

They should do away with the sims. Sim cards are a way for people like Nokia to make other hardware vendors dependent on their ip. Nokia will try to use FRAND as a defense to legitimate claims of infringement. Sims are also a way for carriers to lock down devices so consumers have to pay lots of money to switch carriers on the spot when the service is unsatisfactory.

Please no, CDMA tried that and look where it is. Banned and hated.

SIM cards enable competition, you want to switch to another network. You get a free SIM. Put it in your phone and voilalla all works and setup.

It isn't that hard.

A vSIM would only allow networks on the "phone", and networks that sign up. And getting all networks to role it out would be hard, and then break competition.

And a vSIM wouldn't be legal.
post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

They should do away with the sims.

Nooo... not The Sims!

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post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therbo View Post

A vSIM would only allow networks on the "phone", and networks that sign up. And getting all networks to role it out would be hard, and then break competition.

That's not accurate. The simple data stored on a physical SIM could be stored as printed text on a card you buy in any store and then inputted manually. This has plenty of benefits over physical SIMs, like being able to store multiple vSIMs at once and switch between them with ease.

Quote:
And a vSIM wouldn't be legal.

Why isn't in legal?

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post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame808 View Post

I can't imagine the need for sims anyway. Yah it's convenient to just pop your sim in and out of your phone at the whim of a dime but seriously who even swaps out their sims nowadays?

Everytime i travel to europe, i swap my sim over.
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post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

Everytime i travel to europe, i swap my sim over.

Ditto, I have a small collection of ones from Asia and Europe, some even have time/minutes and data left on them

Sim swapping is much to convenient to discount and remove it from the device design.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's not accurate. The simple data stored on a physical SIM could be stored as printed text on a card you buy in any store and then inputted manually. This has plenty of benefits over physical SIMs, like being able to store multiple vSIMs at once and switch between them with ease.


Why isn't in legal?

Do you even know what's stored on a SIM? I don't think a network wants their auth keys printed in clear text.

In EU, current law requires that phones have a SIM card. A vSIM is therefore illegal.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Which is why getting rid of the physical SIM is the way to go for consumers.

That might work in North America but European and Asian consumers are very much in favour of SIM cards. If you live near the border of several countries, go travelling a lot or live in a country with a competitive GSM market then physical SIM cards are a massive boon.
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They tried and got shot down. Despite Apple's power in this market there are apparently certain things they can't do.

No.
The way for Apple to do this is to just get ride of the sim regardless of what "the market" says.
When Apple does it, others will follow.

Remember when everyone said Apple was stupid for getting rid of the floppy drive and including USB.

Remember when everyone said Apple was being stupid for getting rid of optical drives.

Remember when everyone said Apple was being stupid for releasing the iPad.

Apple should "just do it". Who cares what their competitors say. They will sell a shit ton of iPhones and have a defacto standard others will follow.

No reason for Apple to halt their progress because their competitors are too stubborn.
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

No.
The way for Apple to do this is to just get ride of the sim regardless of what "the market" says.
When Apple does it, others will follow.

Remember when everyone said Apple was stupid for getting rid of the floppy drive and including USB.

Remember when everyone said Apple was being stupid for getting rid of optical drives.

Remember when everyone said Apple was being stupid for releasing the iPad.

Apple should "just do it". Who cares what their competitors say. They will sell a shit ton of iPhones and have a defacto standard others will follow.

No reason for Apple to halt their progress because their competitors are too stubborn.

No, Apple can't just get rid of the SIM, because the law in certain countries REQUIRES it.

Why do you think Apple has to submit it to the ETSI? They have to make it a standard if they want to implement it in Europe.
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therbo View Post

Do you even know what's stored on a SIM? I don't think a network wants their auth keys printed in clear text.

In EU, current law requires that phones have a SIM card. A vSIM is therefore illegal.

I'm quite familiar. Here, I'll break it down for you.

First of all, we can get rid of the address book and messages storage. It's a pointless feature for the future of smartphones.

(Warning: These next things are really tricky but they do require looking at how the technology works, not at the little piece of plastic)

Second, we have the IMSI. This essentially identifies the carrier and its country. This is up to 15 digits but could be shorter if using a full alpha-numeric. It's not unlike the way the Mac. However, inputting this into the phone could be reduced even more by putting most of the information onto the mobile baseband. This not only adds much needed security now afforded by the easily cloned SIM cards but reduces the amount of data the user would need to input with a vSIM.

Also, things like the OSEN, SMSC, SPN, SDN are all basic information that are coded to the carrier and country so this simple data can be part of the mobile baseband database, thus not needing to reside on a physical card.

Next we have the ICCID. This is the number you find engraved into your SIM card. It's not hidden. It can't be. It's up to 19 digits long. This would have to be inputted manually by the customer. That said, aspects of it like the country code and issuer are redundant to some parts of the IMSI as far as I can tell. Still, it's only 19 digits added once to the mobile baseband's storage and acts as the SIM's social security/tax ID number.

Finally we have the authentication key. This is unfortunately stored on physical SIMs and is passed over when SIMs are cloned. This is major issue that goes unnoticed. Again, this key could be stored on the mobile baseband so that is can authenticate with the network with added security. The vSIM would contain its own passcode that will be authenticated by the carrier against the ICCID and other data.

This system could even be smart enough to know that when you leave one country's network and enter another it would ask you if you wish to switch vSIMs. However, because this is a low-level, very secure system pushing this data to the OS layer would not be wise. The best move is to have the user restart the device in order to choose a new vSIM.

Since we're just now talking about the 4th generation of SIM card which probably wouldn't show up until 2013 what I propose is not a solution that I expect to happen overnight. I figure it's a good decade away but the move for more value and security in our communication devices means the physical SIM card will eventually go away. There will be opposition, but it will be from carriers because of control, not people who say they have to have a physical SIM card the way people say they have to have an ODD in case they need to reinstall an program.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

That might work in North America but European and Asian consumers are very much in favour of SIM cards. If you live near the border of several countries, go travelling a lot or live in a country with a competitive GSM market then physical SIM cards are a massive boon.

1) Incorporating vSIM doesn't mean the physical SIM would go away immediately. In fact, the only way this would work would be to have a couple generations of both system in place.

2) I'm in favour of the SIM. A vSIM is still a SIM. It offers all the same useful features except it adds more security and convenience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

No.
The way for Apple to do this is to just get ride of the sim regardless of what "the market" says.
When Apple does it, others will follow.

Remember when everyone said Apple was stupid for getting rid of the floppy drive and including USB.

Remember when everyone said Apple was being stupid for getting rid of optical drives.

Remember when everyone said Apple was being stupid for releasing the iPad.

Apple should "just do it". Who cares what their competitors say. They will sell a shit ton of iPhones and have a defacto standard others will follow.

No reason for Apple to halt their progress because their competitors are too stubborn.

But Apple wasn't putting their Macs on the floppy drive makers's networks. It's a very different situation.

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post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

That might work in North America but European and Asian consumers are very much in favour of SIM cards. If you live near the border of several countries, go travelling a lot or live in a country with a competitive GSM market then physical SIM cards are a massive boon.

But wouldn't it also be an advantage to be able to set-up several SIM cards from within your phone? Let's say you had already set up a SIM card with a company in your country, then you travel to another country, and you are able to buy a vSIM that you just configure to your phone. You use it while you are there, and when you travel back home, you just enter System Preferences, vSIM, and then choose the one you had already activated before.

This way you wouldn't need to keep all your mini/micro/nano SIM cards in a small box and trying to figure which one belongs to which country. This would also work for people living in bordering cities (like myself). Sometimes you don't plan on crossing the border and the idea just comes up, this way one would never forget to carry another SIM card, as all of them would already be on the phone.
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by slcossio View Post

But wouldn't it also be an advantage to be able to set-up several SIM cards from within your phone? Let's say you had already set up a SIM card with a company in your country, then you travel to another country, and you are able to buy a vSIM that you just configure to your phone. You use it while you are there, and when you travel back home, you just enter System Preferences, vSIM, and then choose the one you had already activated before.

This way you wouldn't need to keep all your mini/micro/nano SIM cards in a small box and trying to figure which one belongs to which country. This would also work for people living in bordering cities (like myself). Sometimes you don't plan on crossing the border and the idea just comes up, this way one would never forget to carry another SIM card, as all of them would already be on the phone.

SIMs are usually free and available from anywhere you want.

For short term roaming in Europe; I dont bother with a local SIM, cheaper to roam.
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

In other words, Apple wishes to replace Nokia's SIM technology with a free one?
What a travesty that would be.

The people at nokia failed to innovate to compete so they think they can profit from patents, very pathetic.
post #27 of 68
The smaller size is one thing, but the technology used in them also plays a part imho… the Micro-SIM already had some advantages over the normal SIM after all. If Apple's SIM is the largest of the 3 Nano-SIM's but also implements the best/most technological advantages, then I can understand people wanting to go for Apple's somewhat larger version.

But if the technological advantages in all 3 are the same, then yeah… why nót go for Nokia's version? The only way Nokia could mess this up is if they ask for rediculous royalties or something. And looking at their complaint (attempt to devalue competitors) I have a feeling Nokia wants some above average royalties to be paid for their efforts.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by flabber View Post

But if the technological advantages in all 3 are the same, then yeah why nót go for Nokia's version?

Backwards compatibility with Apple's design seems like the biggest reason at this point.

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post #29 of 68
True… and besides, it wouldn't hurt if the big mouthed companies like Nokia lose every once in a while. Some companies (RIM for example) can't handle a loss, but if you can it's usually a nice wake up call to start innovating a bit more… something Nokia hasn't really done in a while imho.
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by flabber View Post

True and besides, it wouldn't hurt if the big mouthed companies like Nokia lose every once in a while. Some companies (RIM for example) can't handle a loss, but if you can it's usually a nice wake up call to start innovating a bit more something Nokia hasn't really done in a while imho.

Actually I would have thought Nokia has been doing plenty of losing recently, and it would be Apple being the big mouthed company that could do with losing once in a while.

Now I know posters like you have trouble recognising the difference between shiney and innovation, but can you give some examples of all this innovation others are doing?
post #31 of 68
Apple, Microsoft and Google have been doing innovative things to a lesser or larger degree depending on your point of view (with interfaces, technological ones or otherwise).

Nokia has been doing a lot of that sort of thing about 8 years ago I believe, but they haven't done that in a while. They have been losing a lot in the past few years, just like you mentioned… but that's primarily on the phone business itself. As far as new technologisch go (SIM cards in this case) they haven't really done anything worth mentioning I believe. I could be wrong of course, but about 8 years ago all I heard (in Holland) was Nokia Nokia Nokia
post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

That might work in North America but European and Asian consumers are very much in favour of SIM cards. If you live near the border of several countries, go travelling a lot or live in a country with a competitive GSM market then physical SIM cards are a massive boon.

Thing is, there is no reason why a SIM card is needed. It should be done all through software. Carrying around multiple physical cards to swap in and out is just plain stupid and not necessary. SIMs should die.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

Apple's is by far the largest at 12.3 x 8.8mm - not much smaller than today's 12 x 15mm Micro SIM.
Nokia's 10 x 8mm is the smallest, so why not go for it?

My opinion, because you can't use a simple mechanical adapter to make it work in larger SIM slots. Which is a feature I've used on micro SIMs a few times already.

Quote:
Nokia's point is that 12.3mm is too close to 12mm. Someone trying to put a nano SIM into a Micro SIM slot will jam the slot up.

There will always be people that try to put square pegs into round holes, one can justify going only so far in idiot-proofing. I really don't think Nokia's point is valid, because someone that can't tell the card isn't the right type for the pocket has more pressing problems.

However, I think it's a problem that can be quickly remedied by changing a dimension. If Nokia actually has IP tied up with their offering as they hint, then that's a bigger boondoggle that can't be remedied as easily. Otherwise, I don't understand their "devaluing" objection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Thing is, there is no reason why a SIM card is needed. It should be done all through software. Carrying around multiple physical cards to swap in and out is just plain stupid and necessary. SIMs should die.

I think it's a good idea, however, what software? What reasonably secure and reliable means can offer a guaranteed way to operate on several different phone OSs, that's as simple as a physical SIM? Those are major problems that need to be addressed. There may be regulatory hurdles that should be addressed too.
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it's a good idea, however, what software? What reasonably secure and reliable means can offer a guaranteed way to operate on several different phone OSs, that's as simple as a physical SIM? Those are major problems that need to be addressed. There may be regulatory hurdles that should be addressed too.

The phone OS can store whatever keys are needed to get on a network.
post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Which is why getting rid of the physical SIM is the way to go for consumers.

Perhaps for people who don't travel. We have at least 5 sims, 3 different carriers in this house and they are swapped frequently. There's a reason why sims are popular, if not a world wide standard, and it's not due to regulatory whims. People like them as they provide for far more flexibility than you can get in the USA where you need to buy a new phone, along with a multi-year contract, simply to switch carriers.
post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

The phone OS can store whatever keys are needed to get on a network.

Yes, but it's not as simple and convenient as a physical key, and I don't think any carrier anywhere will accept a system where a key allows subscribers to just enter into multiple devices.

I suppose a system that gives you a QR code might work.
post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye Forget View Post

Perhaps for people who don't travel. We have at least 5 sims, 3 different carriers in this house and they are swapped frequently. There's a reason why sims are popular, if not a world wide standard, and it's not due to regulatory whims. People like them as they provide for far more flexibility than you can get in the USA where you need to buy a new phone, along with a multi-year contract, simply to switch carriers.

there are multiple issues here. Yes, if you switch to a carrier with a different type of network, yes you would have to buy a new phone. So you would prefer to physically swap cards versus being able to simply have the phone "just" work across carriers?
post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Yes, but it's not as simple and convenient as a physical key, and I don't think any carrier anywhere will accept a system where a key allows subscribers to just enter into multiple devices.

I suppose a system that gives you a QR code might work.

Point is, a user should not have to enter anything. The phone should "just" work. Sounds like a standards based software protocol would be the better solution.
post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Point is, a user should not have to enter anything. The phone should "just" work. Sounds like a standards based software protocol would be the better solution.

How do you propose a mechanism of making it "just work"? How does the phone and carrier know how to tie to each other without any user intervention? The carrier will have to know how to identify the device and to identify the subscriber. A physical SIM did that for you. It doesn't even line up with your network keys suggestion, because you can't get on a WiFi network without entering the key manually.

The CDMA system was SIM-less but it took a half hour phone call with the carrier to get things switched over to a new account or to switch phones.
post #40 of 68
For those who do not understand the value of the SIM, just go to VZ and see what it takes to switch phones when an old one dies or you loose it. Or for people like me who has a number of old phones around the house which I still use for various reason like I would not take my smart phone on a camping trip if I could help it. I move SIM card from one phone to another without a problem. Also as my kids have done they buy their friends old phones and pop their SIM and off they are running does not require any involvement form the phone company what so ever.


I have to give Apple the thumps up on stating with the traditional design of the SIM, it the old idea of, it is work do not fix it. I can tell you using the design the Nokia and RIM have will be problems, they closely match the desigh of the MircoSD cards and I can tell you they have problems stay in contact with the connector. Have the connection point on the edge is not that good, doing it like the current SIM design with the connections in the middle work well.

But Nokia is correct apple is trying to devalue what others are doing, but they set up the industry and Nokia bit at it, now apple will agree in order for the industry to grow and innovate these essential IP will need to be freely share, Apple will use the Nokia state to show they they are trying to slow down competition
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