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Apple fighting Motorola, Nokia, and RIM over nano-SIM standard

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The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is fighting with Motorola, Nokia, and RIM over the final design of the new nano-SIM standard ahead of an ETSI vote next week.

O2 Germany SIM card logo (1020)
O2 Germany SIM card logo (1020)

Perhaps to SIM card inventor Giesecke & Devrient's surprise, its nano-SIM proposal introduced late last year didn't fly through standardization unopposed: instead, the process for crafting a next-gen SIM standard has devolved into an all-out war pitting Apple against many of the other major players in the phone industry, FT reports. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is on track to vote on the nano-SIM next week, but there are concerns that Apple's version will require a drawer for the card — a design element it already employs on both the iPhone and iPad — whereas the competing design led by Nokia (and seemingly backed by Motorola and RIM) is said to have "significant technical advantages." Though the SIM design would be licensed to any organization that wants to use it, there's also concern about Apple's seemingly unilateral effort leading to a concentration of patents around the nano-SIM falling under its direct control. It's understood that "most" European carriers have sided with Apple, however.

And the soap opera gets even juicier — ahead of next week's vote, the FT is reporting that Apple is attempting to significantly increase its number of votes in the ETSI's chambers by registering six different European subsidiaries as voting bodies, each of which can have as many as 45 votes. Nokia is currently in control with 92 votes, but it seems that could change very quickly if Cupertino gets its way.

Regardless of which faction wins, we're bracing for yet another all-new SIM standard coming down the pike, which means new cards, new adapters, and new hassles for carriers.