Apple is upping the ante on its new Nano-sim card standard, offering a royalty-free license to its competitors in order to get it passed this month. Is this a desperate play to get the new standard adopted in time for a June iPhone 5 launch?
Last week, we wrote an article about the strange sighting of a purported iPhone 5 sim card tray, which looks almost identical to the one being used in the iPhone 4S. This rumor came as a surprise since, as we pointed out, the ETSI, which sets these standards, had been stalling in making a final decision on Apple’s new Nano-sim card design, based on complaints from its competitors.
Now, there are some new developments worth reporting on, since this news could play a major role in whether the iPhone 5 has any chance of being released in June.
According to MacRumors, the ETSI is now set to rule on Apple’s new Nano-sim card standard this month. Even more striking is this bit of news: “As of a couple months ago, however, Apple was fighting with rival phone makers who were pushing their own SIM designs. Apple has even offered a royalty-free patent license to its design in order to convince other companies to sign on.”
This is an incredible move by Apple to push the ETSI’s decision in their favor, and if you think about it in terms of how the adoption of this new standard might impact the chances of an iPhone 5 release in June, you could even say that it is a panic move by Cupertino to get this standard in under the wire — perhaps before WWDC 2012?
MacRumors assumes that: “Being that the new nano-SIM standard hasn’t been ratified, and the fact that Apple would need some lead-time to incorporate the design into the iPhone, it seems likely that the nano-SIM standard would not be ready in time for the next iPhone.” This would be based on the fact that, in the past, sim card designs have taken years to be put into production. However, MacRumors seems to contradict itself, stipulating that: “since the nano-SIM design is being ‘driven by a supplier’ — in this case, Apple — there wouldn’t be a long lag before the new design was implemented.”
So, which one is it?
My gut feeling on this one is that Apple is taking extreme measures to ensure that their new Nano-sim standard is put into place sooner rather than later. With the vote taking place this month, why would Apple be willing to take such a big bath on this new standard by foregoing the possible influx of royalties, just to get the vote passed? If the design was still years away from implementation, Apple would have years to get it ratified.
It very well may be that their “rush” to get their new Nano-sim standard is not because the iPhone 5 will be released in June, but rather in the fall, and they need to get it all sussed out not in order to give themselves enough lead time to put it into full production.
Or, the other possibility is that the iPhone 5 is already in production, and Cupertino is twiddling its thumbs on getting this final piece of the iPhone 5 puzzle completed for the WWDC in June.
By Michael Nace