Nano-SIM Proposals to be Voted Next Week; Apple Proposal Does Not Meet Requirements, Alleges Nokia and RIM

March 27, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The future of the SIM cards is going to change in a one week when the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) will sit for voting on the proposals submitted by major players like Apple, Nokia and RIM on the new shape of the Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM cards).

However, going through the proposals submitted by Apple, Nokia and RIM, it can be seen that the proposals differ very much between Apple and others.

The fourth form factor (4FF) UICC proposal, which is also called the nano-SIM proposal, tries to bring a new standard for SIM cars which will make them smaller than what they are now.

With these nano-SIM cards, things will be easier for the gadget manufacturers since the smaller card gives more space to lay the circuits and thus to make slimmer sets with better features.

However, Apple seems to be working for a SIM form factor, which is almost conventional. In its proposal, the card will measure 12.3 mm x 8.8 mm and will be a usual SIM with all plastic stripped off.

The RIM and Nokia proposals are different. While the Nokia proposal makes it smaller at 10mm x 8 mm size, the RIM proposal makes it 11 mm x 9 mm.

All the proposals are based on the requirements set forward by ETSI, but Nokia and RIM claims that the Apple proposal does not suit these requirements.

As per the requirement, the new card should have eight electrical contacts, just like the current SIMs. It also demands that the form factor shall prevent the 4FF from being jammed in the Mini-UICC reader.

In Apple’s design, the chances for such a jamming up are more. Since the SIM is 12 mm long in Apple’s proposal and the micro-SIM slot is 12 mm wide, it can make users get the card jammed, if they push it in sideways.

By the nature of the proposal, it seems there is a sort of alliance between Nokia and RIM while keeping Apple on the opposite side. Well, all depend on the ETSI meeting. Let us stay tuned.

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