Apple prepping for war with competitors over nano-SIM

The iPhone maker is reportedly trying to get its nano-SIM technology to become the new standard in the mobile space, much to the chagrin of Motorola Mobility, RIM, and Nokia.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The nano-SIM will be even smaller than the original SIM and micro-SIM shown here.
The nano-SIM will be even smaller than the original SIM and micro-SIM shown here. Donald Bell/CNET

Apple has proposed a new SIM card technology that it wants all others to accept. But that might prove to be a tall order.

The iPhone maker reportedly brought its technology for a new standard, called nano-SIM, before the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) last year. The technology is a smaller version of the micro-SIM, but comes with additional space to include more functionality. SIM cards hold a user's phone number, as well as their mobile identity on a cellular network. By putting the cards into a new device, all the person's information can be preserved.

Apple has been able to woo a host of European carriers to its technology, making its chances of winning ETSI approval a little better. However, the company is squaring off with similar options from Motorola Mobility, Research In Motion, and Nokia, all of which are hoping to have their respective technologies become the new Nano-SIM standard.

But Apple might just have a trump card. According to the Financial Times, which first reported on the news, the company is trying to "significantly" increase its voting power within ETSI by registering six European subsidies with the organization. Subsidiaries with 8 billion euros or more in revenue have up to 45 votes. With the amount of cash Apple generates, it could go a long way in overshadowing Nokia's current lead with 92 total votes.

Nokia has expressed displeasure with Apple's move and questioned whether it should be allowed. That decision should be made this week, paving the way for official voting to take place next week.

Still, it's no guarantee that Apple will win. When the voting is held, every member company will have the opportunity to pick its favorite option. Nokia will in no way throw its weight behind Apple, and neither will RIM and Google. In other words, the next SIM customers find in their upcoming smartphones is still very much up for grabs.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.