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Apple ready to license its nano-SIM design for free, on one not-so-nano condition

Sharif Sakr
03.26.12
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If you hadn't heard, there are two rival nano-SIM designs going around, but there's only room for one of them to become an industry standard. Nokia, Motorola and RIM sit together in one corner, and we've already covered why they think their design is superior. On the other side of the ring sits Apple, which has its own tactics for bringing ETSI, the European Telecoms Standards Institute, over to its way of thinking. According to a legal letter shown to FOSS Patents by a "perfectly reliable source", Apple is prepared to license its nano-SIM design royalty-free, so long as it becomes the new standard and all other nano-SIM patent holders reciprocate the gesture. Such a gambit may not appease Cupertino's rivals and it certainly doesn't address their technical concerns, but it might show that Apple isn't looking to profit out of this particular format war and is simply continuing its quest for greater clarity on FRAND licensing terms. Then again, it could all just be lawyer-speak.

Update: Nokia has responded to Apple's move, making it clear that it still prefers its own design. Mark Durrant, director of communications for the Finnish firm said, "the principal issues remain the technical superiority of our proposal and that Apple's proposal does not meet the pre-agreed ETSI requirements... Apple's proposal for royalty free licensing seems no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others." We expect this to go back and forth a few more times.

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