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Apple's nano-SIM card design approved by ETSI

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has approved the nano-SIM card design that was proposed by Apple, reports Ars Technica. The new nano-SIM card is 40 percent smaller than the current micro-SIM card standard in many modern cell phones.

Size is obviously a major issue for cell phones and other devices that use SIM cards, and smaller components mean technology manufacturers can save the extra space for other hardware that can provide better features or battery life.

"Today's SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device," ETSI said in a statement. "This space is more and more valuable in today's handsets which deliver an ever-increasing number of features."

The newly approved SIM card design is the fourth form factor (4FF), and measures 12.33mm wide by 8.8mm tall by 0.67mm thick (0.48" x 0.35" x 0.03"). Nano-SIM cards will be backwards-compatible with slots designed for micro-SIM cards, which will help manufacturers make the transition more smoothly as the new nano-SIM spec is implemented in future hardware.

A rival design specification was submitted by RIM and Motorola. Their design and Apple's eventually converged after modifications on both sides, and very few differences remained at the end. The major differentiating feature at the end was a notch on RIM and Motorola's design, that would allow handsets to use the "push-push" design - where cards can be inserted by pushing the SIM into the slot and removed by pushing again - instead of a sliding tray for the cards.

While ETSI did not specifically say that Apple was the winner, a member of the committee, Giesecke & Devrient did, according to Macworld.

Source: Ars Technica

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