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RIM, Motorola try compromise in Apple nano-SIM battle

The companies yesterday unveiled a new design concept for the nano-SIM that closely resembles Apple's own offering.

The Nano-SIM will be even smaller than these cards.
The Nano-SIM will be even smaller than these cards.
Donald Bell/CNET

Some of the most prominent mobile companies in the world are working on a new standard for SIM cards. The only issue is, they can't seem to come to an agreement. But three of those firms yesterday tried to get one step closer to an accord.

According to The Verge, citing sources, RIM, Nokia, and Motorola yesterday unveiled a new concept design for the nano-SIM standard. The card itself looks similar to its elders, featuring a rectangular design with a notched corner. However, like other nano-SIM design concepts, the latest from RIM, Nokia, and Motorola is extremely small, potentially paving the way for new design concepts, and the opportunity for more storage, despite less real estate on the card's face.

The new design is an important one. Apple, which has its own nano-SIM concept, couldn't come to terms with the mobile companies over the design of the standard. At a meeting back in March at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, Apple brought one design concept to the table, while its competitors brought another.

The original concept from Nokia, Motorola, and RIM featured a dramatically different design that Apple took issue with. The other companies, meanwhile, didn't want to give Apple the standard straight away, potentially creating a scenario where both concepts could be used in the mobile space -- an unacceptable issue for many. So, rather than vote on the standards, ETSI announced that it had delayed the vote to decide which concept would be the new standard, pending "broad industry consensus."

According to The Verge, which obtained the new design concept plans from Motorola, Nokia, and RIM, the companies have tried to compromise with Apple by bringing to its design "80 percent" of what Apple wanted. The remaining 20 percent is made up of those features the mobile companies were after.

Whether Apple will accept the proposal remains to be seen. However, the companies will be meeting with each other between May 31 and June 1 in Japan to once again discuss the nano-SIM standard. Although a vote could be held that day to determine what will become the standard, it's not a definite.