Apple is trying to get a new nano-SIM (a really small version of the Subscriber Identity Module chip used in mobile phones) standard approved by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) rather than having that standards organization select a competitive proposal by Nokia, Motorola, and RIM. Since this is a crucial standard for the future of SIM cards, Nokia has decided to fight the proposal.
The Verge reported this morning on a statement made by a Nokia spokesman today, and it wouldn’t be surprising to hear of a counterattack being made by Apple. The 4FF (“fourth form factor”, AKA the nano-SIM) is expected to be voted on by ETSI soon, so both sides are making sure that their side of the dispute gets as much press as possible.
The statement from Nokia points out several alleged design defects of Apple’s proposal. One of ETSI’s requirements for the 4FF is that a nano-SIM cannot get stuck in a micro-SIM slot, and Nokia says that Apple’s card doesn’t pass that test. In addition, Nokia assets that Apple’s design requires a small carrier tray like that used for many existing SIM cards, while the Nokia design is much more compact — perfect for creating lighter and smaller phones.
Whatever happens, we should be hearing about the new nano-SIM design winner in the next week or so.