Apple Fighting For Even Smaller SIM Card Standard For Future iPhones

Back in May 2011, Apple has proposed a smaller SIM card standard to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI. The proposed SIM card was smaller than the micro-SIM card used in iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad.

The smaller SIM form factor will help Apple make smaller and thinner iPhones and iPad 3Gs. At that time, we had reported that some major mobile operators like Orange are also backing Apple’s new SIM card design.

Financial Times now reports that Apple is up against rivals such as Motorola, RIM and Nokia who have proposed “nano-SIM” cards as the next industry standard for miniaturized SIM cards to ETSI.

Micro-Sims are already common in the latest generation of smart devices, such as Apple’s iPhone 4S and Nokia’s Lumia. The nano-Sim is thinner and about a third smaller than the micro-Sim, and would allow more space for other functions.

Rivals are concerned that Apple’s smaller SIM card standard requires a drawer (SIM card tray) to protect it and are also concerned that Apple may end up owning the patents.

FT reports that ETSI members will decide on the proposals next week. Apple is backed by most of the European operators. Apple has also registered six of its European subsidiaries to become full members, which should significantly increase its number of votes.

It remains to be seen if Apple will be able to prevail over its rivals.