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Apple patent application shows off space-saving, magnetically-secured SIM tray

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A new patent application from Apple reveals that the company is working on mechanisms that will eliminate the need for a SIM ejector tool and its resulting internal hardware, potentially allowing the iPhone maker to build future handsets with even slimmer form factors.

Magnetic SIM tray patent


The United States Patent and Trademark office on Thursday published an Apple patent application covering a variation on the company's unique SIM card tray design. The application -- covering "Systems and methods for ejecting removable modules from electronic devices" -- would allow future SIM-equipped devices to retain and eject the tray by magnetic means rather than mechanical. Apple says in the filing that current designs, which utilize internal retaining clips and require a hole in the device's exterior for removal, take up too much space and provide a point of entry for dirt and grime.

"Such an ejector mechanism often takes up valuable real estate within the housing of the device," Apple's application reads. "Moreover, a portion of such an ejector mechanism often requires a user to interact with the ejector mechanism through an opening in the housing that may allow debris to enter the housing and impair the function of the device."

Magnetic SIM tray patent


By using magnets, rather than mechanical connectors or a "push-push" slot commonly found on memory card readers, the SIM tray mechanism can be made even smaller and lighter than it is in Apple's current generation of devices.

Apple famously fought against efforts to include a "push-push" slot in the nano-SIM specification last year in a debate that was raging around the time the magnetic tray patent was filed. BlackBerry and Motorola opposed Apple's notchless design for the nano-SIM specifically because it would require the device to have a SIM tray.

Should the design materialize in an actual product, it would not be the first time Cupertino's design guru Jony Ive used magnets in place of mechanical fasteners. Apple's iPad Smart Covers are held in place by magnets, while mechanical latches were phased out in favor of magnetic latches beginning with the MacBook Air. In previous generations of iMacs, Apple used magnets to hold the computers' display glass in place

Apple cites a wide variety of use cases for the design, including many wearable objects like watches, rings, necklaces, belts, accessories for belts, headsets, and accessories for shoes.

US Patent Application 20130267106 was filed in April of 2012. It credits Kenneth A. Jenks of Cupertino as its inventor.
post #2 of 15
That sim is going into something suspiciously watch-sized.
post #3 of 15
I would like to see another "secure enclave" in the Qualcomm cellular chip that can hold many virtual SIMs.
post #4 of 15

So it pops out like a magnetic latch on a Sauder or Ikea cabinet?  

post #5 of 15

The new brains at Apple

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply
post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post
The new brains at Apple

 

Hey, liquid metal.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Hey, liquid metal.

All we need is 10,000 Magneto's forming liquid metal iPhone 6's at the Foxconn assembly line

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

I would like to see another "secure enclave" in the Qualcomm cellular chip that can hold many virtual SIMs.

 

That already exists in the GSM spec as a "embedded SIM". It was originally designed for stuff like power meters. Apple wanted to do that a few years ago, and there was apparently huge carrier pushback who see the SIM as a barrier to people switching between carriers. For example, you could buy a generic iPhone and during the activation process switching carriers would be as simple as selecting a different option.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
 A new patent application from Apple reveals that the company is working on mechanisms that will eliminate the need for a SIM ejector tool and its resulting internal hardware, potentially allowing the iPhone maker to build future handsets with even slimmer form factors.

Oh but apple doesn't innovate anymore!/s

There doomed!!/s

post #10 of 15
MAGNETS!! How do they work??!!
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #11 of 15
All this effort just so that Apple won't have to make any more ejector tools.
post #12 of 15
Please do this - the SIM ejector pins are readily lost and you end up hunting for just the right size paper clip.
post #13 of 15
Cool. Maybe next year's iPhone "6" will be really thin.
Oh wait. The earphone jack might be the limiting factor.
Or maybe - just maybe - Apple will ship the "6" with no jack and wireless earbuds...

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
Or maybe - just maybe - Apple will ship the "6" with no jack and wireless earbuds...

 

They’ll have to make Bluetooth’s bandwidth high enough to carry ALAC for me to buy into that crap.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #15 of 15
Yeah, bitch! Magnets!

p.s. I couldn't resist...
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