The long, winding road to selection of a nano-SIM standard took another turn today: Samsung has filed a letter with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) of "concerns expressed and actions taken by Samsung in relation to the recent vote by correspondence for the selection" of a final design.
The phrase "recent vote by correspondence" is of particular interest: just last week, Motorola and RIM had filed a compromise design meant to appease Apple while still allowing trayless "push-push" mechanisms in phones, suggesting that debate was still raging internally and that a final vote might not take place until the next meeting of the SIM working group at the end of this month in Japan. Previously, though, SIM maker Giesecke & Devrient had told us that just such a "vote by correspondence" was already underway and was expected to wrap by mid-May, leaving the status of the updated Motorola / RIM proposal in limbo.
Indeed, the remote voting is part of what has Samsung fired up. The Korean giant — which, as a massive phone maker, would obviously have a huge stake in the outcome of the nano-SIM decision — says that its concerns began when it came to light that companies were trying to pile into the voting body after the announcement of the vote, something we'd heard a bit of in the Financial Times' report back in March. Subsequently, it believes that ETSI pushed forward with a vote inappropriately before intellectual property concerns over Apple's design were fully resolved, and that not enough time was allotted for "consensus building" within the organization.
"Samsung is still taking advice and reserves its position and rights on what further action it will take."
The situation appears to have come to a head last Monday, May 14th, when the ETSI Board convened a special meeting to consider a Samsung appeal regarding "concerns" with the entire nano-SIM selection process. That appeal was denied, seemingly leaving the runway cleared for completion of the voting that's already underway. "Samsung is still taking advice and reserves its position and rights on what further action it will take," the company says.
So, how does the ETSI fix its procedural problems and get all of its most important members on the same page? "How these ultimately get resolved remains unclear at this time," Samsung notes — but pending any last-minute reversals of fortune or another vote deadlock, it appears we may have a binding decision on the nano-SIM in mere days.