Motorola & RIM propose nano-SIM compromise with Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new design concept for a next-generation, smaller "nano-SIM" card has been submitted by Motorola and RIM, which tweaks a design originally pushed by Apple.

The new nano-SIM design, according to The Verge, is "80 percent Apple and 20 percent RIM / Motorola." It features the same outline and contacts originally included in Apple's design, which means it will be backward compatible with larger SIM cards when used with an adapter, but it also includes a notch on one edge that would allow a mechanism that would secure the card once pushed in, and allow it to be pushed again to pop it out.

Apple's design, without the notch, would have required a tray to hold it in place. The new design proposed by RIM and Motorola negates the need for the tray with the use of what RIM calls the "push-push" mechanism.

The proposed nano-SIM design from Apple was first revealed in late March before the European Telecommunications Standards Institute was scheduled to make a decision. But that vote was postponed as two competing camps led by Apple and Nokia could not come to an agreement.

Nokia stood in opposition to Apple's design because the Finnish handset maker believed the design would violate a "no jamming" rule. Their issue was based on the fact that the length of Apple's proposed nano-SIM is too similar to the width of current-generation micro-SIMs, which could lead consumers to accidentally jam it into a smartphone and have it get stuck.

Apple made slight tweaks to its nano-SIM design which were revealed earlier this month. SIM card maker Giesecke & Devrient showed off Apple's new nano-SIM design with slightly adjusted dimensions at the CTIA trade show in New Orleans, La.

Nano-SIM


Apple's tweaked design added a small amount of plastic to the edges of the electrical contacts. That made the revised nano-SIM card too long to be forced lengthwise into an existing micro-SIM slot.

But Apple's tweaked design would have apparently still required a tray for holding the nano-SIM card inside a smartphone. RIM and Motorola's revised proposal relies instead on the "push-push" mechanism to negate the need for a tray.

Apple previously objected to the inclusion of a notch on the nano-SIM card, claiming that the addition of one would extend time to market of the new design because it would reduce the space for silicon inside the smaller SIM card.

The next ETSI meeting is scheduled to take place starting May 31, at which a decision should be made on the proposed nano-SIM redesigns from both Apple as well as Motorola and RIM.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    cute, everybody copies apples' designs, (or modifies them) . but, this is the way Apple products shoud be copied... by making the new design better (or at least different)
    in any case /joke
  • Reply 2 of 91
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    How well do external phone slots hold up to debris? I've never owned a phone with an external slot, but it seems insisting on direct external access seems a little silly. To take a tangential example, all my cameras have doors covering the slots. A buddy's iPhone gets a lot of lint packed into the dock, which causes me to think the tray is a good idea for the SIM card, you get a good cover for the slot. A dock connector can be scraped out with a plastic or wood tooth pick, a card slot isn't so easy.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member


    Ignoring the size of the SIM itself, how much space is saved with the Push-Push vs. the tray?


     


    A tray sounds clunky, but, for all I know, the push-push mechanism may be as large or larger when implemented.

  • Reply 4 of 91
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    How well do external phone slots hold up to debris? I've never owned a phone with an external slot, but it seems insisting on direct external access seems a little silly. To take a tangential example, all my cameras have doors covering the slots. A buddy's iPhone gets a lot of lint packed into the dock, which causes me to think the tray is a good idea for the SIM card, you get a good cover for the slot. A dock connector can be scraped out with a plastic or wood tooth pick, a card slot isn't so easy.


    Yeah, my iPhone's stereo jack gets linty too.  :P

  • Reply 5 of 91
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    How well do external phone slots hold up to debris? I've never owned a phone with an external slot, but it seems insisting on direct external access seems a little silly. To take a tangential example, all my cameras have doors covering the slots. A buddy's iPhone gets a lot of lint packed into the dock, which causes me to think the tray is a good idea for the SIM card, you get a good cover for the slot. A dock connector can be scraped out with a plastic or wood tooth pick, a card slot isn't so easy.




    I don't think this is an exposed design. There should still be a cap on the outside but just that: a cap not a complete tray.

  • Reply 6 of 91
    umumumumumum Posts: 76member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    How well do external phone slots hold up to debris? I've never owned a phone with an external slot, but it seems insisting on direct external access seems a little silly. To take a tangential example, all my cameras have doors covering the slots. A buddy's iPhone gets a lot of lint packed into the dock, which causes me to think the tray is a good idea for the SIM card, you get a good cover for the slot. A dock connector can be scraped out with a plastic or wood tooth pick, a card slot isn't so easy.


     


    no reason it needs to be an external slot, all the phones i've had for the last 15-ish years allowed me to open them up for changing battery, sim card, memory card etc., these are all protected inside, as long as the case design is good (which it has been on all the ones i've used so far) there's no ingress of crud


     


    apple's design doesn't have a cover normally intended for removal by the user, so it needs an external sim slot with a carrier tray to cover the hole


     


    if manufacturers want to carry on using internal sim mounting it'd explain their resistance to a nano-sim design that would force them to waste space on a carrier tray

  • Reply 7 of 91


    THAT'S it? THAT'S what the whole debate boils down to? A notch in the plastic?!


     


    At the time the battle first started there were lots of articles about the "technical superiority" of the RIM/Moto/Nokia design, but none of the articles actually stated what the "superiority" was. Now we know - a notch.

  • Reply 8 of 91
    uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member


    It's amazing that company such as RIM, inching ever closer into oblivion still has some say in these things.

  • Reply 9 of 91
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    How well do external phone slots hold up to debris? I've never owned a phone with an external slot, but it seems insisting on direct external access seems a little silly. To take a tangential example, all my cameras have doors covering the slots. 


    What RIM and NOK are suggesting is exactly what your camera has.  Seems like a good idea, but I wonder how much internal space it adds?  I suppose it doesn't preclude those who want to use a tray from doing it.


     


    Seems like a win-win. Surprised Apple didn't have this in the original design.

  • Reply 10 of 91
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post


    THAT'S it? THAT'S what the whole debate boils down to? A notch in the plastic?!


     


    At the time the battle first started there were lots of articles about the "technical superiority" of the RIM/Moto/Nokia design, but none of the articles actually stated what the "superiority" was. Now we know - a notch.



    Seems to me like the notch is technically superior.  You don't agree?  If it really does allow a locking of the card and that push-push eject method, and without the notch that's not possible, I'd say this is clearly technically better.

  • Reply 11 of 91
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member


    Did I miss it or did the article not mention if the new Moto/Rim proposal is for a card that can be used either way... tray and push/push?

     

  • Reply 12 of 91
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


    Did I miss it or did the article not mention if the new Moto/Rim proposal is for a card that can be used either way... tray and push/push?

     



    I don't see why it wouldnt.  The current card is designed that way and fits in a tray.  There's nothing special about putting a push-push card into a tray as Apple does it, so I'm sure that's the case here.

  • Reply 13 of 91
    jmgregory1jmgregory1 Posts: 451member


    Nokia and RIM are suggesting the notched version - where you either have an exposed opening, or have to have a cover over the opening to protect it (or hide it behind the battery) - much like most non-Apple smartphones use today.  They're not looking to improve the overall aesthetic or design of their phones, they're using short-term, old, thinking for creating what has been done already.  I, personally, hate the trap doors with flimsy plastic "living" hinges that most of these crappy phones and cameras use to cover port or card slots.  They are either hard to open or end up breaking off completely after opening them a few too many times.


     


    They're not improving on Apple's design, they just want things to be like they are today or were yesterday.  Of course, Apple shouldn't have an issue with it - they can still use the tray and offer the clean outside appearance, while RIM and Nokia keep making their crappy plastic living hinge slot covers on their phones.


     


    Bravo RIM and Nokia, bravo.

  • Reply 14 of 91
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    umumum wrote: »
    no reason it needs to be an external slot, all the phones i've had for the last 15-ish years allowed me to open them up for changing battery, sim card, memory card etc., these are all protected inside, as long as the case design is good (which it has been on all the ones i've used so far) there's no ingress of crud

    apple's design doesn't have a cover normally intended for removal by the user, so it needs an external sim slot with a carrier tray to cover the hole

    if manufacturers want to carry on using internal sim mounting it'd explain their resistance to a nano-sim design that would force them to waste space on a carrier tray

    If it's internally accessed, then it's just like current designs, no tray is necessary. The tray was necessary for external access to make sure the SIM is oriented properly on insertion, i.e., not backwards or flipped.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member


    Still looks like they are just removing as much plastic around the contacts only.  In my mind, a nano-sim should be a quarter to half the size of the current micro-sim.  

  • Reply 16 of 91
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple's tweaked design added a small amount of plastic to the edges of the electrical contacts. That made the revised nano-SIM card too long to be forced lengthwise into an existing micro-SIM slot. But Apple's tweaked design would have apparently still required a tray for holding the nano-SIM card inside a smartphone. RIM and Motorola's revised proposal relies instead on the "push-push" mechanism to negate the need for a tray.


     


    And this is why "design by committee" or consensus never works.  Now we end up with something that is almost indistinguishable from the micro-SIMS we already use and has such a small gain design-wise that it's almost not worth implementing at all.  


     


    Apple: How about no SIM at all.


    Industry: F*ck you Apple!


     


    Apple: How about ... the smallest a SIM could possibly be without compromising functionality?


    Industry: Tray's are too efficient, we want to keep the shitty non-tray option, and what about idiots who put it in sideways?


     


    Apple's: Okay, just enough more plastic so you can't put it in sideways, works without a tray, but better with (use a tray). 


    Industry: Let's put the notch back and add a bit more plastic, then everyone will get everything they want.


     


    Apple: You realise this is almost identical to where we started right?  

  • Reply 17 of 91
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,328member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    How well do external phone slots hold up to debris? I've never owned a phone with an external slot, but it seems insisting on direct external access seems a little silly. To take a tangential example, all my cameras have doors covering the slots. A buddy's iPhone gets a lot of lint packed into the dock, which causes me to think the tray is a good idea for the SIM card, you get a good cover for the slot. A dock connector can be scraped out with a plastic or wood tooth pick, a card slot isn't so easy.
    I believe, from what I've been reading, that this will have a cover, just as before. But the SIM will be inserted into a slot in that cover, restrained by the slot with some sort of spring catch. Then that will be inserted into the SIM slot in the device as usual.

    This will make the design even smaller than with the holder.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    scadesscades Posts: 35member


    As long as the gap between the inside dimension of the slot end and the outside dimension of the micro-sim is minimal a trayless sim slot is no more likely to be a lint-collector than the gap between the current on/off button and its surrounding case-edge. Just supplying a cheap dummy card of the right size would solve the (Verizon) empty slot problem.

  • Reply 19 of 91
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,328member
    THAT'S it? THAT'S what the whole debate boils down to? A notch in the plastic?!

    At the time the battle first started there were lots of articles about the "technical superiority" of the RIM/Moto/Nokia design, but none of the articles actually stated what the "superiority" was. Now we know - a notch.
    This notch is a new development. Having worked in standards setting committees, I can say that even the smallest detail can be argued over for months, even years. Every company wants its own IP in the standard, even if they won't benefit financially in any direct way.

    Some of this will make sense, and some won't seem to. In addition to the possible monetary advantages that may occur, there is the prestige in having one's own IP in there, and it gives companies some control over the process. Then there is the problem that all of the companies, and sometimes governments as well, think that their technology is actually better.

    The rest is just a macho fight.
  • Reply 20 of 91
    jmgregory1jmgregory1 Posts: 451member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    I believe, from what I've been reading, that this will have a cover, just as before. But the SIM will be inserted into a slot in that cover, restrained by the slot with some sort of spring catch. Then that will be inserted into the SIM slot in the device as usual.

    This will make the design even smaller than with the holder.


    Again, this is simply making the current design somewhat smaller - and the design that RIM and Nokia want necessitates the use of a slot cover.  This is not moving forward and it's one of the reasons why RIM and Nokia are not performing at the same level that Apple is.  Apple was right in wanting to move away from SIMs altogether.  They are not a lot different than the floppy drive, cd's, dvd's, etc.  These old-school businesses are holding onto the past and instead should be trying to push forward.

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