It’s no secret that Apple is currently pushing their new nano-SIM design for inclusion in next generation handsets across the industry. Back in March we reported that Apple was prepared to offer a royalty-free licensing fee to any patents that were essential in the creation and implementation of the nano-SIM, should the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) vote result in the adoption of the technology over Nokia’s proposed standard.
Nokia has been very vocal regarding its concerns about Apple’s proposed changes, including the worry that “the Apple-led proposal has caused some concern among its rivals that the US group might eventually own the patents”.”
[quote]The delay in the vote had been due largely to Nokia’s vocal displeasure in Apple’s design, saying in March that Apple explicitly violated ETSI’s design guidelines for 4FF — guidelines that specified that a nano-SIM should be shaped in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible for a customer to accidentally jam it into a micro-SIM slot. G&D noted to us that Apple’s design has now been modified: a small amount of plastic has been added around the edges of the electrical contacts, making the new nano-SIM just long enough so that it can’t be forced lengthwise into an incompatible socket. (The tradeoff, of course, is that the revised design is even less different than the micro-SIM it’s designed to replace, saving relatively little room inside the phone for other components.)[/quote]
The Verge is also reporting that Apple has in fact re-designed its proposed nano-SIM chip to address the concerns of Nokia, and that the ETSI is actually already voting on the 4FF standard, with the vote set to wrap up in mid-May.
We should find out shortly if next-generation handsets from all the major players will have the Nokia system or Apple’s nano-SIM technology in the very near future. From the sounds of it, The Verge seems pretty confident that Apple’s technology will win out in the ETSI vote, and that a number of manufacturers are already leaning towards Apple’s technology. Giesecke & Devrient “is showcasing Apple’s design here at the show, an evolution of the 3FF micro-SIM that iPhone and iPad users have become well acquainted with over the years, though there aren’t any prototypes of Nokia’s competing design at the booth.”
There you have it. It’s almost a safe bet at this point.