Apple proposes even tinier SIMs for future iPhones, iPads
Plans for them to eventually disappear entirely
Apple has proposed an even tinier SIM format to the European standards body ETSI.
The standard will take a year or two to be agreed, so don't expect super-titchy SIMs immediately or even in the next iPhone. But if adopted it will mean the SIM taking up less space in the phone.
Smaller SIMs would leave more space for other goodies, and size could become irrelevant if Apple were to succeed in its plan for an operator-independent SIM.
Apple's iPad and iPhone 4 both already use micro SIMs, which lose a lot of the plastic from the traditional SIM, but now Reuters tells us the company has proposed an even smaller standard to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute; an essential step if the smaller SIM is going to be acceptable to the GSM standard.
Mobile phones sold in Europe have to conform to the GSM standard, and that standard demands a removable SIM card to allow customers to take phones with them when they change networks. The SIM has been very valuable in driving the popularity of mobile telephony, as well as being the component that ensure the security of the whole network.
SIMs are controlled entirely by the network operator, who holds the cryptographic keys necessary to make changes to the SIM as well as authenticate customers. That's always annoyed Apple, who consider the user to be its customer and would be much happier with some form of iTunes-managed network selection rather than a hardware token beyond its control.
But until that can be pushed through the standards bodies it'll make the SIM as small as possible. The new version is electronically no different from its processors - conforming to ISO7816 and GSM 11.11 with the usual contact pattern and connections (to the relief of those who have the ISO pattern tattooed). The only difference appears to be less plastic, more fiddly to hold but taking up less space inside the case. ®
Hey Apple! Leave my SIMs alone! :)
I travel a lot for work - and when I travel, I often have a local SIM that I can simply pop into my phone without having to worry about excessive data roaming charges. For voice, I usually forward my mobile number to my Vonage line which can then "simulring" my foreign SIM, thus saving me vast amounts of money.
SIM cards are great! They are small enough to be easily transportable (I have about 10 in my wallet at the moment) and large enough to be easy to handle. I'll never have an iPhone 4 for a variety of reasons (I did buy my wife one though), but one of which is that it is almost impossible to get hold of prepaid microSIMs in the various countries I regularly visit.
So, I see no benefit to the microSIM as is, and a smaller one even less so. As to dumping the SIM entirely, and letting someone like Apple control my network via something like iTunes - absolutely no way!
I wonder why...
We all know nobody else will adopt it, and the result will be, anyone with a iPhone won't be able to use their SIM in any other phone.
The Apple lock-in continues. You can't bluetooth anything else but Apple, you can send video to anyone without Apple, you can't talk face-to-face with anyone but Apple. Apple knows where you are at all times...
What next, an iPhone that only phones other iPhones? If Jobs has his way it will be....
Never a Title
I'd have thought just selecting the SIM on your phone rather than having to physically carry all those SIMs around would be easier for you. Presumably with a software SIM, and it wouldn't have to be on an iPhone, you could just download all the SIMs you wanted before you went anywhere. I'm sure they could also design a dynamic system that selects the best SIM for wherever you are at the time. Obviously the operators wouldn't like that but I can only see advantages for a software SIM (perhaps even stored in the cloud)
That's a great plan
that would improve service quite substantially then.
I'm fine with anything that fucks mobile companies over.
I really don't understand *why* other's don't adopt it.