Smartphone vendors are uniting against Apple as the iPhone-maker attempts to make its miniature “nano-SIM” card technology the industry standard for the next generation of handsets, reports the Financial Times.
Apple is reportedly backed by most of the operators in Europe and has submitted its proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
Nano-SIM technology is seen as an important step in the miniaturisation of smartphones but Motorola Mobility, Nokia and BlackBerry-maker RIM are opposing Apple’s attempts to make its own technology the industry standard.
The approach would mean all handset makers could use the design under licence – but there are fears that Apple may eventually own the patents on the technology. According to an FT source, the Apple design would also require a drawer-style design to protect it, forcing phone makers to re-engineer their devices.
Apple’s iPhone 4S and Nokia’s Lumia 800 already use micro-SIM cards but the nano-SIM technology will be a third smaller, leaving more space for other functions.
ETSI will make a decision on Apple’s proposals next week although the FT reports that the voting process in the independent committee has come under scrutiny following an attempt by Apple to increase its number of votes on the committee. Apple registered six European subsidiaries to become full members earlier this week with a decision on their membership due to take place today. Subsidiaries with revenue of more than EUR8 billion have up to 45 votes on the ETSI committee.
Nokia, which has the largest number of votes with 92, has questioned whether Apple should be able to obtain additional votes in this way.