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Apple patent application hints at SIM card focus

The company has reportedly applied to patent the way in which SIM cards are inserted and removed from a device and made resistant to any damage.

Apple has been on a patent frenzy as of late.

According to Patently Apple, which follows the company's intellectual property, Apple has filed for a patent that relates to how SIM cards are removed and replaced in devices, and how the cards are kept safe from harm in the process. The blog says that Apple is trying to patent a "plunger"-like system for ejecting a SIM card, and use nonconductive material to safeguard the SIM. The patent includes a host of other embodiments that attempt to achieve the same goal.

Apple has been focusing quite heavily on SIM technologies as of late. In Europe, Apple is trying to get the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to approve its nano-SIM technology. Nano-SIM is the next standard in the SIM space, and can house more data than the current standard, micro-SIM, but is even smaller. Nokia and Research In Motion have their own nano-SIM technologies that they'd like to get ETSI to adopt.

Last week, ETSI was forced to postpone a vote on which technology would win out after RIM took aim at Apple for trying to skew voting results. The mobile firm charged Apple with getting company representatives to change their affiliation when it comes time to vote by proxy. Apple has also registered six European subsidiaries to dramatically improve its votes, causing some concern among member companies.

The patent application Patently Apple came across today doesn't mention nano-SIM by name. However, according to the blog, it can include all the known SIM technologies as well as any "other type of card," potentially lending some protection to the company when nano-SIM is finally released.

Apple's latest patent application comes just a couple of days after the company was awarded 17 patents related to everything from wireless synchronization to the handling of digital camera images. Apple has also applied for a patent related to a surround sound system for the MacBook Pro.