Apple wins key patent for SIM connector designs in mobile products

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 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"?

  • Reply 2 of 32
    I predict at least one model of MacBook has LTE this year
  • Reply 3 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.

  • Reply 4 of 32
    ifij775 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,378member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 32
    zoetmb wrote: »
    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
  • Reply 7 of 32
    BRE_KING NEWS _PPLE HAS P_TENTED THE LETTER _, WHICH STANDS FOR _PPLE. REMEMBER YOU HE_RD IT FROM ME FIRST...
  • Reply 8 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,699member

    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

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 12 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"?

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

  • Reply 15 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member

    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

  • Reply 16 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 17 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"?

    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.
    it's time to junk the...

    What does that mean: 'to junk someone up'?
    spacepower wrote: »
    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'.
  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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. 

Sign In or Register to comment.