Apple has now proposed a smaller standardized SIM card than is currently used, allowing its iOS devices to be marginally thinner.
UK carrier Orange seems to support the proposal:
We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor — smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad.
They have done that through the standardization route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them.
Processing would take some time, but thew first devices using those SIM cards could be out next year.
Result for: mobile operators
In yet another bizarre demand, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is demanding that mobile operators pay licensing fees because their customers use ringtones. In a nutshell, according to ASCAP, when your mobile phone rings with a copyrighted ringtone, it counts as a public performance.
Even more bizarre is Verizon’s agreement to pay $5 million to ASCAP as an interim license fee for ringtone use by its users. ASCAP is the same group that considers girl scouts singing around campfires as a public performance, so their latest assertion is only mildly ridiculous in comparison to that, but it did provoke the ire of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
The EFF is urging a federal court to reject the “outlandish” claim made by ASCAP. Mobile carriers pay royalties for ringtones that they sell to their customers, but even in that case, ASCAP told a federal court that each time a phone rings and plays these recordings, the phone user is violating copyright law.
ASCAP said it has no intention or pursuing individual users for this “crime”, but instead it will go after the mobile phone service providers that enable it. However, the EFF has warned that if ASCAP is allowed to prevail in this case, then other copyright owners would be free to go after individual users. Even just charging the mobile operator for the ringtone user by its customers will surely increase the cost for consumers, sets a very bad precedent and runs the risk of stifling innovation in the field.
Result for: mobile operators
Mformation Technologies has announced they are suing BlackBerry maker Research In Motion over patent infringement. Mformation is a handset management software firm.
The firm says RIM has infringed two patents with its BlackBerry smartphone and its management software. There was no other details on what was being infringed or what Mformation was hoping to get out of the suit.
“After refusing to license Mformation’s disclosed systems and software, RIM modified its BlackBerry software to include Mformation’s patented systems and methods of remote management,” Mformation said.
“Mformation provides mobile device management solutions to mobile operators and enterprises around the globe. We firmly believe in the importance and value of innovation, and have invested significantly for many years in developing our industry leading device management technology. We are also committed to protecting our intellectual property as it is a core asset of our business when absolutely necessary,” said Mark Edwards, Mformation’s Chief Executive Officer.