Interesting news story out of Reuters that has been posted by many website that states that Apple has proposed a standardized SIM card smaller than those it currently uses in the iPhone and iPAD in order to be able to produce thinner devices, an Orange executive told Reuters on Tuesday. The news story also mentions Apple having gone along the Standards path and approached ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and a hint that something could be seen as early as next year.
This is SIM card developmental news and fascinating to watch as SIM and the microprocessor electronic card (ICC/UICC) that it uses takes further steps on its evolutionary journey. We already know some of the form factors for ICC/UICC:
The integrated and non-integrated examples
A closer look at an integrated example
When SIM (subscriber identity module) cards were introduced for GSM (global systems for mobile) communication devices (handset/terminal devices) ETSI standardised the ID-1 format which was an ISO-size card as defined in the international standard ISO-7816 and commonly referred to as a 'credit card' size. A plug-in size (the size of a 'postage stamp') was also introduced and these designs are commonly seen in the standard GSM11.11. Distinctively, the shape, size and operational performance of the card means that the card, called an ICC- integrated circuit card (or Universal ICC following the introduction of 3G-WCDMA cellular radio) - should be distinguished from the SIM module, which is itself a programmable area on the card. However, a further card size emerged and was defined in the 2004-03 ETSI standard TS 102.221 as "mini-UICC". It should be noted that where I have mentioned GSM11.11 this standard refers to the use of SIM cards with GSM technology and services. The lineage of GSM SIM and its standards are linked to ETSI standards including TS 102.221 and, of course, ISO standards. A similar path can be trod when dealing with U-ICC/U-SIM.
As for Apple's suggested development, what we don't know at this stage is what the aggregated SIM (but I think I might want to read that as form factor and size) will look like or its content for that matter. We can only guess at this stage.