back to article Nokia threatens to elbow Apple's rival nano-SIM off a cliff

Nokia will refuse to license its SIM patents if telecoms body ETSI approves Apple's alternative tiny design, upping the stakes in the battle for the next-generation itty-bitty SIM. Nokia believes that the adoption of Apple's nano-SIM would contravene ETSI's own rules on a tiny SIM design, thus absolving the Finnish mobe maker …


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  1. Stratman

    Only one winner here, that's m'learned friends.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the only thing

      A nano sim is good for is to be embedded within the device, non removable just like some batteries.

      Hmmm. Now would this be a disadvantage?

    2. Bob Vistakin

      Slight difference

      Its the newbies with their rounded corner shite who got too big for their own boots by brainwashing their iTards, now getting a healthy bitchslap back to reality when it comes to real innovation. Good on you Nokia, seems there's still some fight in the old girl yet, despite her current predicament regarding the loathsome beast.

    3. N13L5

      I'm not buying your Windphones, but I do prefer your SIM design.

      And Apple needed a bitchslapping bad.

      Give us an OS alternative and we can talk about phones too...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now say "Peter Piper Picked a Peck..."

    Apple: Here's our design....

    Nokia: No. Our way or nothing.

    Me: Damn, Mr. Ballmer, you're getting good at not moving your lips! Now have Nokia say "Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now say "Peter Piper Picked a Peck..."

      Really? Sounds more to me like Nokia (and their evil MS overlords in the background, OK?) are just learning the Apple way of doing business.

    2. Arctic fox
      Thumb Down

      Re: Now say "Peter Piper Picked a Peck..." Really?

      If you are saying that Nokia are simply Microsoft's stalking horse on this issue what then is your explanation for Motorola's role? By exactly the same logic you should be making the same references to Google, hmm? I do not suppose you could possibly consider that the two most experienced mobile phone producers on the face of the planet (Moto and Nokia) might have at least some genuine tech reasons for preferring their offering?

  3. An0n C0w4rd
    Thumb Down

    Yet another reason

    why people should see FRAND for the FARCE that it truly is.

    "<Nokia> Oh, you don't pick my solution? I'll go throw my toys out of my pram and you can't license any patents I may hold relevant to the alternative solution"

    Nokia's response is immature and more than likely representative of what really happens in FRAND negotiations.

    1. Neil Greatorex

      Re: Yet another reason

      Try RTFuckingA before posting, sheesh.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Yet another reason

        I did RTFuckingA and it looks like a fair summing up to me, Nokia appear to be saying that if their design for the SIM is not picked, then they will not allow any of the patents that form part of the current standard to be used in the new one.

        That's like Ferrari telling Sauber that if they don't paint their car red and stick Ferrari badges on it they can't use the engine.

        Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly care which design is picked, but I can say which company appears to be behaving like a three year old.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder

    i wonders, Apple have come up with a new SIM format which they hold patents on. BUT they will allow everybody to use those SIM patents for free as long as any SIM related patents they hold are olso offered up on the same gratis understanding.

    Now this seems absolutly fair from the outside and indeed, can't fault it on any level. But the burning question is. Do Nokia and the other upset mobile producing companies seem upset becasue they have patents pertaining to SIM slots that they fiscaly enforce currently? This is the only reason I can see them getting upset as they are. Anybody know> Or is this a epic pram moment involving toys!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder

      Basically it's like this.

      Nokia have lots of SIM patents.

      Apple have none.

      Apple have submitted a new design that requires a little tray to hold the SIM.

      Apple have a patent on the *tray*.

      Nokia's design doesn't need a tray.

      Here is the conflict, Apple want to get a patent on something to do with SIMs, Nokia don't care what Apple want, they want the best technological solution to the problem.

      Apple have intentionally made a crap design for business reasons. This is important to Apple because they are late to the smart phone party (2007) and have very few patents.

      No one else gives a shit about Apple's business priorities and so it Apple vs. everyone else.

      Luckliy for Apple they have been able to simulate support by registering in several countries as seperate entities.

      If Apple's standard goes forward I will be disgusted. Nokia's point about being able to insert other SIMs is valid.

  5. Andus McCoatover
    Windows this a epic pram moment involving toys...

    It might be more of a snake's hollow tail full of beads....Never know when it's gonna strike.

    (Nice one, PXG)

  6. The Cube

    Please tell me you were missing the correct irony symbol

    When you wrote "but this should not be a political decision even if patent politics has become endemic within the industry".

    Because, if not, then you have clearly not seen how effectively ETSI and the ITU ensure that none of engineering, common sense, the best outcome for consumers, science or basic tenets of standardisation are allowed to get in the way of the politics those organisations were created to foster and support.

    You might consider ETSI to be a sort of politics lighting rod set up to provide a discharge point for the enormous political charges that build up around telco operators and vendors where the in-fighting and back stabbing would make the Italian mafia cross themselves and leave quietly before they got hurt.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just ditch SIMs completely - burn it into a chip on the phone saving even more space and give it a bit of memory for config files and any applications which could be updated over-the-air. SIMs seem a quaint idea that no-one really needs any more.

    Give your IMEI to the new network - your phone will connect to it - done - could probably be done in much the same way as a PAC code for porting numbers. You can't say it would not work as pretty sire Verizon already do it this way in the US for some of their phones / data cards etc.

    1. andreas koch
      Paris Hilton

      @AC 18:38

      Wasn't there something somewhen about Apple wanting to go SIM-less anyway?

      Maybe this non-standard solution is kind of a roundabout way to get there, and then make a quid on the side once the small print reveals that, whereas nano SIM is free, they want their usual 30pieces of silver on the SIM-less solution...

      Would make business sense, and Apple is good at that.

      Paris just for the questioning face...

    2. DaveF

      The technology you describe is CDMA.

    3. Paul 135

      an absolutely terrible idea

      The advantage of SIMs is that you can just swap them between devices without involving network operators at all. Remove the SIM and you give network operators and rotten fruit companies opportunities to screw-over customers.

      1. Tapeador
        Thumb Up

        Re: an absolutely terrible idea

        "Remove the SIM and you give network operators and rotten fruit companies opportunities to screw-over customers."

        For me the issue you raise goes to the heart of the problem as far as I'm concerned with the idea of a NEW micro-sim.

        Given the original SIM worked beautifully, and the need for a NEW micro-SIM standard has not been explained, and it will unnecessarily make all preceding generations of phones effectively unusable, it is tempting to view it as a measure to assist operators in forcing consumers to buy new phones. It seems no mistake all the operators are in favour of it.

    4. Raphael

      @AC 18:38

      You've never encountered teenagers have you?

      My nieces and their friends generally have 3 sims (Vodafone, Telecom XT and 2 Degrees) because of different packages for texting. They will swap out their sims several times a day.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm assuming your American by this comment, as many people I know switch sims on a regular basis, depending on which country they are in, or even if they are calling someone in a different country they will pop in a cheap international rate sim....

      What happens if your phone dies? do you need to go through days of hassle waiting to get your new phone connected or just pop your sim in a £10 phone from Tescos????

      I for one would never buy a phone without a replaceable battery and a sim card!

  8. James 100

    The AC has the right idea - and the CDMA systems Verizon and Sprint use do that already. Make the identify a public key certificate - maybe injected over USB/Bluetooth. Order a new handset from O2, they ship it with your certificate preloaded; buy an unlocked phone and sign up for a "non-SIM only" plan, they email you a file to copy over USB/Bluetooth. Particularly with micro-USB being the new standard for charging, all it needs is to have the data pins connected to something with a kilobyte or so of non-volatile storage.

    Apple already proposed almost exactly that, but certain companies replied "waaaah, we demand SIMs". Maybe something to do with having patents which get them royalties from anyone making or using SIMs?

    1. Daniel B.

      The only ones that would benefit from SIMless handsets are the operators. Try using your Sprint phone on Verizon? Mexico's Iusacell? Can't? That's because unlike the SIM-toting handsets, the phone itself has all the identity stuff and thus can be thoroughly gimped by the operator.

      I ditched Iusacell because they went down the CDMA SIMless route. SIMless phones are for me a relic of the 20th century.

    2. xerocred

      Simless is a crap non-idea. What if you go on holiday or biz trip you can pick up a local prepaid sim from 7eleven. I dont really care which operator its on, but I do know how much it costs.

      Imagine now arriving in Athens or chongqing and trying to call some greek or chinese operators call center to get your phone activated and explain you only want prepaid not signup for a top of the range 2 year contract including ipad.

      With a sim it so much easier. Anyone who wants to talk to an operators call center for any reason is a fucking idiot.


    3. Al Jones

      Injected over USB

      Using the proprietary USB dongle available from your operator for <insert currency symbol here>19.99

  9. Paul 135

    Go show your iTray where the sun don't shine

    I can't on earth understand why crApple's design would even be in contention at all. I mean, anyone but an iSheep can see that Apple's fiddly tray design and patheric "SIM removal tool" are absolute failures in design and usability. This common notion that Apple is good at design is little other than marketing BS and iSheepery, and this is a perfect example of that.

    1. andreas koch
      IT Angle

      Re: Go shove your iTray where the sun don't shine

      Sidenote to Paul 135: I think that was the spelling you intended...

      But apart from that: similar to what was I was trying to guess in the post before, just with a twist. Get everyone to use the free Apple complicated design, and then come up with the 'improved', non-free also-Apple better one.

      It's like shooting an arrow. To make it go forward, you have to pull the string back first.

      It's not that Apple is good at design, they are exceptionally good at marketing, and making money!

      No IT angle here.

  10. darkpill

    Oh! Nokia still makes phones?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia still makes phones?

      Over three times the market share of Apple by volume (about 25% compared to 8%) and second only to Apple by revenue.

      As for the issue itself, whether you are a Nokia fan, an Apple fan, or an intelligent adult able to reason independently of playground loyalties, the Nokia option is much closer to the ETSI requirements.

  11. Pavlovs well trained dog


    I'm still trying to get over why you'd have a SIM card tattoo..


    (not inherently a bad thing, just, well, you gotta admit it's a bit of a left-field choice)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is trying to get into the cartel so that they no longer have to pay royalties, they are offering it free in return for free access to other standards-essential patent,

    Nokia feels that the work done by Apple on the nano-sim is mostly built on existing patents and that its not worth enough to justify letting them into the cartel.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. mccp
    Paris Hilton

    "which is as wide as an existing micro-SIM is long"

    Wrong way around. Apple's new design is as _long_ as the current micro-SIM is wide. That is how you are able to jam the new sim into an old slot.

    (Paris - as she must know plenty about jamming things into slots).

  15. nichobe

    Well Apple...

    How do you like them apples?!

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