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Cellphones Handhelds Media Hardware

Apple vs. Nokia, RIM and Motorola On Nano-SIM Standard 144

Posted by timothy
from the wish-they'd-fight-more-to-improve-interfaces dept.
angry tapir writes "Next week, two proposals for a new, smaller SIM card, dubbed nano-SIM — one backed by Apple and the other by Nokia, Research In Motion and Motorola Mobility — will go head-to-head as ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) decides which card future smartphones and tablets will use. Measuring approximately 12 millimeters by 9 millimeters, the new SIM will be about 30 percent smaller than the micro-SIM. The thickness of the cards has been reduced by about 15 percent, according to Giesecke & Devrient. The nano-SIM is also approximately 60 percent smaller than traditional-size SIM cards."
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Apple vs. Nokia, RIM and Motorola On Nano-SIM Standard

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  • Re:Too small (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:35AM (#39440355)

    With a software sim, it's too easy to disable the feature that you can remove the sim and replace it with another one. No-one wants more lock-in.
    Also, a hardware sim acts as a piece of trusted hardware, and can provide e.g. customized encryption (such as the Israelis use), serve as a secure storage for cryptographic material (e.g. eWallet applications), intercept call requests and reroute them to callback services, and many more uses (also see SIM toolkit).

  • by Brannon (221550) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @10:03AM (#39440631)

    they've been on the receiving end of RAND abuse, but I've never heard of them extracting unreasonable tolls/terms on any standards-contributed RAND technology.

  • Re:Too small (Score:3, Informative)

    by AvitarX (172628) <me@@@brandywinehundred...org> on Thursday March 22, 2012 @11:10AM (#39441591) Journal

    They know different.

    At least T-Mobile USA does. When I log into my account there is a picture of my phone, it changes when I move my sim.

  • Re:Too small (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <[ten.frow] [ta] [todhsals]> on Thursday March 22, 2012 @11:59AM (#39442251)

    How about a /sim/-folder on the microSD?

    Your phone provider could just email the file to you, you copy the file to the card and turn on the phone.

    A SIM is not just a storage device. It's a full blown microcomputer with its own encryption engine and other stuff.

    Sure you interact with it in a simple command-and-response fashion (usually to get at contacts and such), but the processor can do a LOT more. If you've seen "SIM Applications" on your phone, they are little programs that run on the SIM CPU, interacting with the host phone through a well-defined interface called SIM Toolkit.

    Anyhow, if you know how ETSI works, or how most standards bodies work, it's really just a bunch of politics. There's a lot of backscratching and money that changes hands (because being part of the standard means patent licensing revenue). This is especially in cases where there's no patent pool entitiy (like MPEG-LA) that let you mass-license a bunch of patents at once so everyone has to go license the FRAND patents from everyone else.

    And that's the problem. Apple, despite probably selling maybe 10% of the phones, makes more profit off the iPhone and the other 90% combined. So everyone else is rightly worried that should this proposal go through they'd have to pay licensing fees to Apple (under FRAND terms).

    That's what it really boils down to - it's far more profitable to sue Apple over everything and hope to get forced licensing over Apple's much-desired non-FRAND patents than to let them in and then lose the leverage.

    Heck, even in 3G there's a pile of standards that you will not need for a regular phone (TD-CDMA for example). They're used in niche areas with narrow customer base. For stuff like this, it's more about being able to bid on contracts that demand "3G Wireless Technology" with a proprietary technology that no one else uses. It's only standard because it's in the spec that no reasonable person would use.

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