Apple at odds with Motorola, Nokia, RIM over 'nano-SIM' design

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


Apple is said to be competing with rivals Motorola Mobility, Research in Motion and Nokia in pushing for a new, smaller SIM card standard.



Apple's desire for a so-called "nano-SIM" would allow the company to potentially design even smaller products, with a SIM card that would require less space inside of a smartphone. The MicroSIM card, with a design smaller than traditional SIM cards, was originally pushed by Apple in 2010 with the launch of the iPhone 4.



But the nano-SIM would go even smaller, with a size about a third smaller than MicroSIM. That's prompted Apple to lead the charge for adopting the new standard, though other companies oppose Apple's design proposals, according to the Financial Times.



Rivals Nokia, RIM and Motorola are reportedly concerned that Apple could own the patents related to design of the nano-SIM. Use of the smaller SIM card would require a special "drawer" in a smartphone to protect the card, which one person said would require companies to re-engineer their smartphone designs.



Though Apple's push has been met with resistance from three of its biggest rivals, the iPhone maker does have the support of most European carriers. Together, they have made proposals for adoption to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.





iPhone 4S SIM card removal, via iFixit.







In 2010, it was reported that Apple was working on an embedded SIM design that would allow users to select a carrier and service plan directly from their iPhone. But those plans allegedly upset carriers, who felt they could be marginalized by such a move.



Instead, Apple compromised and began talking with carriers about designing a smaller SIM card that it would use instead of an e-SIM. The CEO of France Telecom said the dialogue with Apple about a smaller SIM card was a "constructive exchange," and that the iPhone maker "understood" why carriers were so concerned about the proposed SIM-less design.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...

    Apple's desire for a so-called "nano-SIM" would allow the company to potentially design even smaller products, with a SIM card that would require less space inside of a smartphone...



    What's the volume of a micro SIM, and what would the savings in size (as fraction of the whole device) be with a nano-SIM?
  • Reply 2 of 26
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,501member
    I wouldn't like that. The microsim is already so small, and I have small hands. Having a tray on the iPhone for an even smaller card would be ridiculous. Let the sim card disappear altogether. Maybe that's what apple is trying to do, shrinking it until it's invisible and everyone forgets about it.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    What's the volume of a micro SIM, and what would the savings in size (as fraction of the whole device) be with a nano-SIM?



    The size of the SIM is only part of the savings - the size of the reader for it is the big volume savings.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 180member
    Quote:

    which one person said would require companies to re-engineer their smartphone designs



    create new designs???? really????



    I wonder where such a statement came from.... I would love to award that person with a prize for discovering what the industry has been needing for a quarter of a century.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    The size of the SIM is only part of the savings - the size of the reader for it is the big volume savings.



    Some numbers would have been useful...



    EDIT: Well, I found them myself (Wikipedia source)



    Mini-SIM 25:15:0.76 (length:width:thickness, mm)

    Micro-SIM 15:12:0.76

    Nano-SIM 12:9:0.76



    Clearly the advantages are negligible. It also seems that there is already a Nano-SIM standard (ETSI TS 102 221 V9.0.0, Mini-UICC). What is the fuss about, then?
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Apple wants a smaller or better designed SIM CARD, to save space for better engineering, but then wants to retain the APP DRAW that will take more space?



    Maybe I am reading or understanding that worng...



    Then again, if apple is really wanting this so bad, should they agree to NOT Patent this so that it will be an industry/Carrier standard?



    Not critizing just trying to understand it here...\





    Side note, just wish apple put as much care into the macs as they do the phones... I cant believe of the crap that is called "MacBook Pro" that i have many of compared to the way they USED to produce laptops pre/iphone...
  • Reply 7 of 26
    I feel like the micro SIM should be small enough at this point, it's pretty tiny as is. I can't imagine going any smaller then needing a special drawer would grant any significant overall space savings.



    While different, kind of ironic CDMA has been SIM-less forever.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 611member
    I'm sure Apple will offer Motorola the right to use that patent on the same sort of FRAND terms that Moto offers for standards-essential patents.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post


    I wouldn't like that. The microsim is already so small, and I have small hands. Having a tray on the iPhone for an even smaller card would be ridiculous. Let the sim card disappear altogether. Maybe that's what apple is trying to do, shrinking it until it's invisible and everyone forgets about it.



    The logical reason why they can't get rid of the SIM card is because being able to change the contents of the SIM card would allow people to clone them (see Jailbroken phones.) I doubt we'll get a promise from the blackhat community to not do this.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    I feel like the micro SIM should be small enough at this point, it's pretty tiny as is. I can't imagine going any smaller then needing a special drawer would grant any significant overall space savings.



    While different, kind of ironic CDMA has been SIM-less forever.



    CDMA/TDMA/AMPS phones are sent a one-time crypto key when they are activated. They are stupidly easy to clone, just leave the old device on, and activate a new phone. After it receives the OTA, both phones will have the keys, and if you call the new phone, the old phone will ring as well. The ESN system is old, unreliable and easy to hack.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misa View Post








    CDMA/TDMA/AMPS phones are sent a one-time crypto key when they are activated. They are stupidly easy to clone, just leave the old device on, and activate a new phone. After it receives the OTA, both phones will have the keys, and if you call the new phone, the old phone will ring as well. The ESN system is old, unreliable and easy to hack.



    Which is why it happens all the time with major security breeches left and right??
  • Reply 11 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    The size of the SIM is only part of the savings - the size of the reader for it is the big volume savings.



    But the savings get smaller with each size reduction. The real savings come from getting rid of the SIM altogether.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misa View Post


    The logical reason why they can't get rid of the SIM card is because being able to change the contents of the SIM card would allow people to clone them (see Jailbroken phones.) I doubt we'll get a promise from the blackhat community to not do this.



    CDMA/TDMA/AMPS phones are sent a one-time crypto key when they are activated. They are stupidly easy to clone, just leave the old device on, and activate a new phone. After it receives the OTA, both phones will have the keys, and if you call the new phone, the old phone will ring as well. The ESN system is old, unreliable and easy to hack.



    So? The old system was easy to hack. Big deal. It's not that hard to set up a secure system. Use the serial number of the device to make it secure and uncloneable. Incompetent programmers isn't an excuse for keeping an archaic system that takes up space, weight, and battery power.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    asciiascii Posts: 5,816member
    I don't know why the carrier can't just give you a login/password to their network, same way you log in to a WiFi network. Why do they have to give you a physical SIM?
  • Reply 13 of 26
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I don't know why the carrier can't just give you a login/password to their network, same way you log in to a WiFi network. Why do they have to give you a physical SIM?



    Imagine how easy it would be to steal someone's phone...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    ...Use the serial number of the device to make it secure and uncloneable...



    I wouldn't like that. I want to be able to change my phone at will, while keeping the subscription for carrier services.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    asciiascii Posts: 5,816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    Imagine how easy it would be to steal someone's phone...



    Presumably it wouldn't let two people log in with the same username at the same time. Or if you log in with a new phone for the first time you have to provide additional personal details.



    I just think that ultimately the sim card contains only information, and requiring you to insert something physical to get that information in to the phone is kind of old fashioned, like the use of optical drives.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... In 2010, it was reported that Apple was working on an embedded SIM design that would allow users to select a carrier and service plan directly from their iPhone. But those plans allegedly upset carriers, who felt they could be marginalized by such a move. ...



    IMO this is the only sensible direction for SIM technology and the best way forward. Whether or not the physical SIMS we use now are a few millimetres smaller is irrelevant in comparison.



    I must admit I find it disappointing how quickly and how easily Apple caves to the carriers on virtually everything. Remember when the iPhone first came out and people said that Apple was going to disrupt the business and change the way the carriers worked? Break the stranglehold the carriers have on the consumer etc.?



    None of that has happened.



    They've disrupted the industry to the point that they have destroyed some of their manufacturing rivals and forced the rest to copy what Apple is doing design wise, but in terms of changing the basic model of the cell phone industry where we are all tortured and raped by the monopolistic carriers? ... nothing.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Presumably it wouldn't let two people log in with the same username at the same time. Or if you log in with a new phone for the first time you have to provide additional personal details.



    Sure, additional security measures can be taken, and also circumvented.



    Quote:

    I just think that ultimately the sim card contains only information, and requiring you to insert something physical to get that information in to the phone is kind of old fashioned, like the use of optical drives.



    ...and, like the house keys.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    I don't like the idea of that at all. What happens when you want to quickly change phones? I travel in Europe and I use different SIM cards all the time, depending on which country I am in.



    I can't think of simpler way to move from one to the other without a SIM. Calling your carrier and waiting for activation? Changing a card takes five seconds and gives me total freedom to get the cheapest Data plan wherever I am. I stopped using an iPhone because of this - pissing about with adapters became a hassle, and it broke a Nokia N8 I was using, as it got stuck due to being slightly thicker than a normal card.



    It should be a universal standard and no-one should have controlling patents.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,296member
    You probably want to reengineer your phones anyway. Oh, and design something consumers want too.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    orthorimorthorim Posts: 141member
    You guys don't realize how brilliant SIM cards are - they un-bundle the carrier from your phone so that you have the freedom to use your SIM in any phone, and multiple SIMs from different carriers, or just different numbers, in the same phone.

    Well, unless you live in the USA, that is, where there is pretty much no choice. You only have T-Mob and ATT to choose from, and neither offer attractive pre-paid options. In Europe and Asia there's usually at least 3 or 4 real networks, and on top of that a handful of MVNOs reselling the network in different (cheap) packages, and plenty of pre-paid options so switching SIMs makes sense.



    I am wary of the SIM-less design proposal as my feeling was it would give carriers more control. But I find it interesting the carriers were against it - that makes me think the SIM-less design probably kept all the advantages of the SIM card as listed above. That is the virtual SIM could be transferred to a new phone, and multiple different virtual SIMs could be used in one phone.



    If the nano SIM just saves a few square mm, I'd rather not have it. Micro is small enough.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by orthorim View Post


    You guys don't realize how brilliant SIM cards are - they un-bundle the carrier from your phone so that you have the freedom to use your SIM in any phone, and multiple SIMs from different carriers, or just different numbers, in the same phone. .



    There are technological solutions besides using a 30 year old technology.



    You could accomplish the same thing with online activation.
Sign In or Register to comment.