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Apple wins key patent for SIM connector designs in mobile products

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Apple this week was granted a patent for the design of SIM card connectors found in most mobile devices, a critical step for the company not only in terms of its future mobile hardware initiative but also its capacity to fend off ongoing opposition from rivals over the evolution of the technology.

Sim Insertion and Ejection


In particular, Apple and Nokia have been feuding over the future of SIM card connector designs ever since the European Telecommunications Standards Institute agreed to set clear polices governing how its member companies license their patents related to the technology.

A driving force behind the initiative, Apple back in February pledged royalty-free licensing of its own, now official nano-SIM design, if the ETSI ruled in its favor, which the organization ultimately did just a few months later.

Apple's latest design win over at the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Christmas Day covers various methods of inserting and ejecting a SIM card into devices in such a manner that it protects the card and device from damage should the user insert it improperly.

Apple's existing "plunger system," or SIM ejection tool, is specifically cited in the filing, but iPhones and iPads aren't the only products for which the filing covers -- it can also apply to media centers, MacBooks, or larger screen displays, Apple says.

The iPhone maker's victory on the heels of ETSI earlier ruling may compel Nokia and other rivals to relent in their ongoing opposition to Apple's leadership in the field and potentially withdraw dozens of their rival SIM card-related patent filings that remain pending.
post #2 of 32

I dunno if this is "key". Does anyone else even use SIM trays as opposed to "pop the cover off, take the battery out, open that stupid little metal door, and put a SIM in"?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #3 of 32
I predict at least one model of MacBook has LTE this year
post #4 of 32
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post
I predict at least one model of MacBook has LTE this year


They tried that. They decided against it. It's going backward; laptops are being killed off.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I predict at least one model of MacBook has LTE this year

Now with most American carriers implementing shared data plans, and the size of nano SIM, I agree that it is likely that Apple will include.

The biggest hurdle to adoption in Apple's laptop lineup is Moto and Samsung wireless FRAND SEPs demands.
In the current situation, Moto wants $24 and Samsung $22.50 per $1000 MacBook Air sold, for patents in a radio chip that costs $8 to make and sell to Apple. That would equate to over $100 of each $2200 MBP Retina sold.

All these FRAND SEP lawsuits need to be settled before Apple will include LTE in their laptop lineup.
post #6 of 32

Apple gets a patent for sticking a pin in a hole to eject the SIM?   Haven't CD-ROM drives been doing this since 1986?  Same for trays.

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Apple gets a patent for sticking a pin in a hole to eject the SIM?   Haven't CD-ROM drives been doing this since 1986?  Same for trays.

If you bothered to read the patent you would have your answer

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Apple gets a patent for sticking a pin in a hole to eject the SIM? 

No sir. PatentlyApple has a clearer explanation here:

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/12/apple-wins-strategically-important-micro-sim-patent.html

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post #9 of 32

Can we please wait a few years and see what the maroons in DC finally decide, before posting any more of such 'this-and-that patent was granted' news?

 

I am increasingly leaning towards the Repubs on this one: it's time to junk the USPTO.

post #10 of 32
I remember Apple's current sim ejection system.

It was the '80s and I was ejecting 3.5" floppys, except instead of having to jam a pin in there, there was a mechanical button already attached to the device. Because needing to jam a separate pin (even if it's called an "eject tool") into a consumer device just seems stupid.
post #11 of 32
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post
It was the '80s and I was ejecting 3.5" floppys, except instead of having to jam a pin in there, there was a mechanical button already attached to the device.

 

The permanence of SIM cards makes that a bad decision. Great for SD cards, though.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I dunno if this is "key". Does anyone else even use SIM trays as opposed to "pop the cover off, take the battery out, open that stupid little metal door, and put a SIM in"?

Google's Nexus 4 uses it. I think 1 or 2 other Android phones use it
post #13 of 32
Well Apple got this patent, well I see it at its rate of shrinkage it will be a different way in a few years.
post #14 of 32
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post
Well Apple got this patent, well I see it at its rate of shrinkage it will be a different way in a few years.

 

Indeed. Already there's talk of embedded SIM's (which is different from the way Verizon used to do it), though I'm not sure how credible/reliable they are. But given continued SIM size changing nonsense, they'd be welcome.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post


Google's Nexus 4 uses it. I think 1 or 2 other Android phones use it

 

HTC One X

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Indeed. Already there's talk of embedded SIM's (which is different from the way Verizon used to do it), though I'm not sure how credible/reliable they are. But given continued SIM size changing nonsense, they'd be welcome.

The international and US carriers shot down Apple's push for embedded SIM cards. The issue is friction to the consumers, the carriers want as much friction as possible to keep consumers from switching service providers.

Imagine flying from NYC to Paris, getting off the plane, and switching your phone from Verizon or AT&T to Orange or Vodafone via iOS rather than having to walk into store and switch hardware SIM chips. Verizon and AT&T would hate that but so would Vodafone and Orange if they had to compete on pricing via iOS app rather than have you walk into their stores.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I dunno if this is "key". Does anyone else even use SIM trays as opposed to "pop the cover off, take the battery out, open that stupid little metal door, and put a SIM in"?

Not for my phone, but I do swap SIM on my iPad. Because the roaming price is 700% higher than the cost of a locally purchased SIM (around Europe at least). Besides, I don't want to call people telling them my temp number while on holiday.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

it's time to junk the...

What does that mean: 'to junk someone up'?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

Imagine flying from NYC to Paris, getting off the plane, and switching your phone from Verizon or AT&T to Orange or Vodafone via iOS ...

I would love that, 'Supplier Software Switch'.
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post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

The permanence of SIM cards makes that a bad decision. Great for SD cards, though.

 

I take Thalys every 15 days to see my lady. It's another country, another provider, another SIM. I'm sorry to say, your point of view is again skewed: US-only.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Indeed. Already there's talk of embedded SIM's (which is different from the way Verizon used to do it), though I'm not sure how credible/reliable they are. But given continued SIM size changing nonsense, they'd be welcome.

I'd like to see embedded SIM's, but given how phone companies don't want them at all (provider mobility? never if they can fight it!), I wouldn't dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post


The international and US carriers shot down Apple's push for embedded SIM cards. The issue is friction to the consumers, the carriers want as much friction as possible to keep consumers from switching service providers.
Imagine flying from NYC to Paris, getting off the plane, and switching your phone from Verizon or AT&T to Orange or Vodafone via iOS rather than having to walk into store and switch hardware SIM chips. Verizon and AT&T would hate that but so would Vodafone and Orange if they had to compete on pricing via iOS app rather than have you walk into their stores.

Exacty my point.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Not for my phone, but I do swap SIM on my iPad. Because the roaming price is 700% higher than the cost of a locally purchased SIM (around Europe at least).

It does raise the question of "why can't we, The People of Europe, shake the shackles of companies...". After all, SFR and vodafone are the same company and definitely should enable me to switch from my vodafone-france (SFR) to my vodafone-NL accont in a simple i-touch...

 

Apart from having completely different suppliers such as Bouygues in Paris and Telfort in the NL, obviously.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #20 of 32
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post
I take Thalys every 15 days to see my lady. It's another country, another provider, another SIM. I'm sorry to say, your point of view is again skewed: US-only.

 

And I'm sorry to say that your continent has a terrible system wherein you can't even travel the distance of the smallest of our states without having to deal with that crap. Given proximity and last decade's economic collaboration, you'd think you guys would have multinational telecoms by now. 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

you'd think you guys would have multinational telecoms by now. 

They do. By being competitive towards themselves. These telcos buy companies, have them retain there name but absorb tech and put everything under their own umbrella. The only thing that is different is the logo and invoice-look. Works abroad as well. KPN in NL owns telcos in BE, DE, UK. Don't think for a moment they are clever enough to create something unique, incentive to get customers enjoy no roaming fees because you're still on the same network/provider after crossing the border. But I digress, and stress, because of this.

One disclaimer is that I don't know if there is some weird law preventing this.
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post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I dunno if this is "key". Does anyone else even use SIM trays as opposed to "pop the cover off, take the battery out, open that stupid little metal door, and put a SIM in"?

It could be key if others are forced to adopt this design going forward for whatever reason. That seems to be implied by the article, but I don't know if it's true.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post


Now with most American carriers implementing shared data plans, and the size of nano SIM, I agree that it is likely that Apple will include.
The biggest hurdle to adoption in Apple's laptop lineup is Moto and Samsung wireless FRAND SEPs demands.
In the current situation, Moto wants $24 and Samsung $22.50 per $1000 MacBook Air sold, for patents in a radio chip that costs $8 to make and sell to Apple. That would equate to over $100 of each $2200 MBP Retina sold.
All these FRAND SEP lawsuits need to be settled before Apple will include LTE in their laptop lineup.

 

It's not an entirely bad system in that it helps enable budget devices, which are needed in many markets.

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Apple gets a patent for sticking a pin in a hole to eject the SIM?   

 

This patent is for a specific combination of features in a SIM socket, such as the ejector arrangement, retaining clips locations, and using certain metal and plastic pieces in multiple ways (including being the axis for the ejector).

 

Other companies do not have to create their sockets in exactly the same ways that Apple is claiming here.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

The biggest hurdle to adoption in Apple's laptop lineup is Moto and Samsung wireless FRAND SEPs demands.

 

Hmm.  You really think so?   Seems doubtful that price is holding Apple back.  They'd just pass the cost onto their customers with a markup, like they do now to get their high profit margins and for their huge memory increment charges.

 

In the current situation, Moto wants $24 and Samsung $22.50 per $1000 MacBook Air sold, for patents in a radio chip that costs $8 to make and sell to Apple. That would equate to over $100 of each $2200 MBP Retina sold.
 

Moto and Samsung are cheap compared to Qualcomm, who asks about 3.2% of the price, or $32 per $1000.

 

Of course, these highest rates are just a starting point for negotiations.  Quantity discounts help.   And not that Apple would do it, but cross license IP like everyone else, and rates can drop to a tenth of the original asking price.

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

This patent is for a specific combination of features in a SIM socket, such as the ejector arrangement, retaining clips locations, and using certain metal and plastic pieces in multiple ways (including being the axis for the ejector).

Other companies do not have to create their sockets in exactly the same ways that Apple is claiming here.


Hmm.  You really think so?   Seems doubtful that price is holding Apple back.  They'd just pass the cost onto their customers with a markup, like they do now to get their high profit margins and for their huge memory increment charges.

Moto and Samsung are cheap compared to Qualcomm, who asks about 3.2% of the price, or $32 per $1000.

Of course, these highest rates are just a starting point for negotiations.  Quantity discounts help.   And not that Apple would do it, but cross license IP like everyone else, and rates can drop to a tenth of the original asking price.

No one has paid this Qualcomm numbers yet and they specifically said that LTE customers get the old 3G prices.

You are way out of your league on this subject.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

It does raise the question of "why can't we, The People of Europe, shake the shackles of companies...". After all, SFR and vodafone are the same company and definitely should enable me to switch from my vodafone-france (SFR) to my vodafone-NL accont in a simple i-touch...

Apart from having completely different suppliers such as Bouygues in Paris and Telfort in the NL, obviously.

I lived in Europe for many years and while the idea of the worlds largest unified marketed sounded great, the reality was much different. Telecoms as you mention, have so much political power that the unified market doesn't apply to them as far as consumers are concerned. For infrastructure, they get cheap cross border sales, but consumers are screwed.
post #26 of 32
Another SIM standard? Hmm...
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

Another SIM standard? Hmm...
It's called evolution, making things better because they can.
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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

It's called evolution, making things better because they can.

But, not because we need to. Like evolving to spread across the Earth like a cancer because we figured out how to wear clothes and burn oil.
post #29 of 32
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post
But, not because we need to. Like evolving to spread across the Earth like a cancer because we figured out how to wear clothes and burn oil.

 

People against sentience are, within that civilization, unworthy of consideration.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

People against sentience are, within that civilization, unworthy of consideration.

I'm not against sentience, I'm for not destroying this sentience we have come to enjoy.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

No one has paid this Qualcomm numbers yet and they specifically said that LTE customers get the old 3G prices.

 

Standalone LTE customers would pay the lower LTE rate of 3.25%.

 

What Qualcomm said was that they would not charge combination (e.g.  LTE + 3G ) devices more than their rate without LTE.

 

The reason is that those non-LTE royalty rates were often higher (3.4 % to 5%) than the LTE rate. 

 

So if you were already paying 4% of the price of your device without LTE, you'd still pay the same 4% for that device with LTE, instead of adding on another 3.25%.

 

 

--

 

For real example, one Wall Street analyst posted these calculations for the LTE iPad:

 

"QCOM is the likely baseband chip supplier — we estimate

 

~ $16 of content for QCOM at ~ 30% operating margins drives $4-$5 of chip operating profits per 4G iPad for QCOM

 

More importantly, we estimate ~$10-$15 of royalty income for QCOM for every 4G iPad based on a 5% royalty rate on a $300 build price for the iPad3."

 

In other words, Qualcomm sells JUST their physical chipset to Apple for $16. 

 

Additionally, Qualcomm charges Apple  3.3% to 5% royalty ($10 to $15) for some tablet models to be a combination GPRS/ CDMA / UMTS / LTE device.

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post


No one has paid this Qualcomm numbers yet and they specifically said that LTE customers get the old 3G prices.
You are way out of your league on this subject.

The "old 3G price" that Qualcomm is willing to carryover to 4G was fairly high Spacepower. Exactly as KDarling said, it's based on the completed device price, not just the cost of a particular Qualcomm chip. Fair? IMHO not really, but it is what it is and an accepted industry practice for setting royalties. Qualcomm, Ericsson, Nokia, and Motorola among others all collect royalties on a completed device and not a couple of components. 

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2000/05/15/279766/index.htm


Edited by Gatorguy - 12/29/12 at 5:22pm
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