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This Is (Probably) Your Next SIM Card

Illustration for article titled This Is (Probably) Your Next SIM Card

Over the past few months, Apple, Nokia, RIM and Motorola have all been getting very worked up over something rather boring: SIM cards. After Apple's attempt to capture the market, there's finally a new proposed design—which might actually find its way into your next phone.

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The new nano-SIM design, put together by RIM and Motorola, takes Apple's previous suggestion and adds tweaks that the other three manufacturers want to see. In the words of The Verge, "it's 80 percent Apple and 20 percent RIM/Motorola."

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Despite its diminutive size—it measures just 8 millimeters by 12 millimeters—it's designed to be backward compatible with older SIM cards, and the notch is there so it can be pushed in and out of a spring-loaded slot.

The only final hurdle is getting agreement from Apple but, given that the design is largely theirs, that seems at least plausible. Either way, there's not long to wait: the next meeting to settle things once and for all—in conjunction with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the body that governs international SIM standards—happens at the end of this month. [The Verge]

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DISCUSSION

Why do we need SIM cards at all? Why can't we just get some universal password that represents our phone number and service account, then you can type that password into any phone to activate it?

I'm just not sure I understand the benefit of having a physical piece of plastic that authenticates your account. We don't need anything like that to get our email or Facebook contacts set up on a new phone, so why should your phone number be any different?

I think this newer, smaller SIM card is solving the wrong problem.