Nokia contests Apple’s European nano-SIM proposal, says its own meets “pre-agreed requirements”

Nokia contests Apple’s European nano-SIM proposal, says its own meets “pre-agreed requirements” ...

With Apple facing criticism from Nokia, Motorola and RIM over its plans for a new nano-SIM standard to be utilised in its new smartphones, Nokia has today issued a statement that accuses Apple of not meeting “all of the pre-agreed requirements” set by European Telecommunications Standards Institute for the new standard.

The Verge received word from Nokia, which breaks down the company’s argument against Apple’s submitted 4FF proposal and outlines why its own (along with Motorola and RIM) would be better for consumers and be able to withstand usage:

Apple’s proposal does not meet all of the pre-agreed requirements for ETSI’s planned 4FF standard (the so-called nano SIM). The proposal from Nokia, RIM and Motorola does.

Nokia believes that our proposal has features which would make it easier for consumers to insert and remove the SIM without damage. Additionally, our proposed SIM has different dimensions from a micro SIM, one of ETSI’s requirements, which would avoid it getting stuck if inserted by mistake into a phone with a micro SIM slot. Apple’s proposed card is the same length as the width of current micro SIMs and so would risk jamming, leading to card and product damage.

We also feel that our proposal allows for more design options for the type of card reader, i.e. how the SIM is inserted into the device, to allow for a wider range of device form factors. Requiring a tray or SIM carrier would reduce design options and increase manufacturing cost, perhaps not significant for high end smartphones but it would be for lower cost devices.

The combination of our proposed card and the associated mechanics are smaller than those for a current micro SIM, allowing further miniaturization in devices. Though Apple’s proposed card is smaller than current micro SIMs, when combined with the associated mechanics needed in the phone, we don’t believe it represents a significant reduction in size. We believe that in practice it would mean it was just different from micro SIM, rather than smaller, which could be a barrier to broad adoption as an alternative to micro SIM, potentially leading to fragmentation.

In summary, Nokia believes that our proposed nano SIM would be easier for consumers to handle, enable a wider range of device designs and offer a true difference from the existing options with micro SIM. We look forward to continuing the discussions in more detail with our counterparts in ETSI.

Nokia’s argument is that its own proposal is easier for consumers to take a SIM card from a device and put it back in. Although Apple’s is smaller, it would need a drawer, which would need additional components to see it embedded in a device.

Given that it would require more manufacturing time, Nokia argues it would be harder for smaller device makers to embed them in their own smartphones and tablets.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is due to make its decision on the fate of the nano-SIM next week, but there have been issues raised over Apple’s use of a drawer for the SIM card. Nokia, Motorola and RIM have touted their own design, with holds  “significant technical advantages” over the Apple’s own.

Despite that, many European operators are believed to have supported Apple’s proposal, which would then be licensed to any company that wanted to use the design in their devices.

To sway favour, the Financial Times reported that Apple had registered six independent subsidiaries to act as voting bodies, which can register up to 45 votes. Nokia led at the time with 92, but with additional bodies involved a decision is far from straightforward.

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