After the ongoing patent wars between Apple and a range of other manufacturers, there is news about yet another battle brewing off late. Apple had proposed plans to reduce the size of the SIM card, further, as compared to the Micro-SIM card that is currently being used in a range of Apple devices, such as the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and their latest generations of iPads to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The brand aims for the ETSI to recognize their proposed nano-SIM format as the next standard of SIM cards, as opposed to the traditional SIM cards and Micro-SIM cards; the latter of which is now being adopted not only by Apple devices, but also by Motorola as well as Nokia. However, brands such as RIM, Nokia and Motorola are not too pleased with this proposal as it would mean that they would have to pay an amount of royalty for adopting it, if it had to be used as a universal standard. As per a report by iMore, though carriers appear to be in favour of the proposal made by Apple, competitors such as Research in Motion, Nokia and others are against it as they do not want to be limited by Apple’s inclusion of the SIM card tray as part of the standard offering.
The SIM wars begin
The report quotes from letter seen by FOSS patent states, “A perfectly reliable source that I can’t disclose has shown me a letter dated March 19, 2012 that a senior Apple lawyer sent to [the European Telecommunications Standards Institute]. The letter addresses the primary concern of critics of the proposal. The FT said that “the Apple-led proposal has caused some concern among its rivals that the US group might eventually own the patents”. But Apple’s letter has removed this roadblock, if it ever was any, through an unequivocal commitment to grant royalty-free licenses to any Apple patents essential to nano-SIM, provided that Apple’s proposal is adopted as a standard and that all other patent holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”
As per a related report by Engadget, “Nokia has responded to Apple's move, making it clear that it still prefers its own design. Mark Durrant, director of communications for the Finnish firm said, “the principal issues remain the technical superiority of our proposal and that Apple's proposal does not meet the pre-agreed ETSI requirements. Apple's proposal for royalty free licensing seems no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others.”
As of now, we will have to just wait and see how the whole issue pans out, but one thing is for certain, Apple just wants to revolutionize the SIM without wanting to gain any profits from it.