Remember when Giesecke & Devrient announced its nano-SIM proposal last year, which was design to go even further than the micro-SIM? Well, it looks like the other parties in the standardization process aren't happy at all with G&D's proposal it made to support Apple. According to the Financial Times, the next-generation SIM standard opened Pandora's box, pitting Apple against many of the other major players in the phone industry. According to the The Verge, the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is ready 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.
Above a nano-SIM dummy as proposed by G&D and shown at the recent Mobile World Congress
Unfortunately it looks like Nokia, Motorola and RIM are fighting a fight on their own because it seems that Apple has already teamed-up with most European carriers to get the majority in next week's vote. Furthermore, the Financial Times 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. While Nokia is currently in control with 92 votes, each of Apple's European subsidiaries would have as many as 45 votes, making the result an easy calculation prior any votes.
The competing design led by Nokia is said to have "significant technical advantages". Though the SIM design would be licensed to any organization that wants to use it, there are concern about Apple's seemingly unilateral effort leading to a concentration of patents around the nano-SIM falling under its direct control.
Whoever will be the winner, either Apple or Nokia, the loser is the end-user because he has to pay for new SIMs and I haven't understood the urgent reason for a 4th SIM card formfactor until today.
Cheers ~ Arne