RIM And Motorola Propose Revised Nano-SIM Design to Compromise With Apple

Over the past few months, phone manufacturers and carriers have been working with standard governing bodies to draft the design of the Nano-SIM card, the successor to the currently used micro-SIM cards in iPhones and iPads.

During the designing process, there was a stand off amongst Apple and a joint group of Nokia, Motorola and RIM over the design of the SIMApple even offered to license the patents involved in its design royalty free to reduce the opposition to the design.

However, till now, no side has refused to completely accept the other proposal. Majority support though, was for Apple’s design, with major carriers backing it. The final vote was postponed to sometime later this month, with RIM and Motorola agreeing to strike a compromise by merging the two designs.

The Verge reports that RIM and Motorola have now submitted the updated proposal for the new SIM, which derives 80 percent of its design from Apple’s draft.

The outline and contacts are carried over from the original Apple design, meaning that it’ll still be backward-compatible with larger SIMs when used with an adapter. In fact, the only important element that they’ve added is a notch on one edge, a feature that RIM says would enable “push-push” mechanisms for storing the nano-SIM in devices — push it into a slot to secure it, push it again to pop it out. Without that notch, the design would necessitate a tray to hold it in place.

both the designs side by side

Interestingly, instead of being in favor of the joint design, Apple said that it could support both the proposals, perhaps realizing the leverage it has over carriers due to the iPhone’s popularity.

RIM and Nokia's merged Nano-SIM design

Since Apple uses SIM trays for inserting the card into the device, its design didn’t have notches, which are used by other phone manufacturers to include a “push-push” mechanism to store and eject SIM cards. The merged design includes these notches, but retains other components from Apple’s design along with maintaining backward compatibility.

The Verge notes that Nokia hasn’t been a part of the latest proposal, indicating that the company’s fine by either of the two designs.

Slide from RIM's presentation laying out the advantages of the merged design

The next meeting is scheduled for the 31st of May in Japan, where Apple would voice its opinion on the new design.

(Image courtesy: The Verge