Reuters cites statements from a UK carrier saying that Apple is working on a new smaller micro-SIM card that would allow the company to reduce the size of its devices.
Apple has submitted a new requirement to ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor – smaller than the SIM card currently used in iPhone 4 and iPad.
An ETSI spokesman told the news agency that Apple’s demand could take up to a year to be accepted if the participating companies reached a broad consensus. Should the iPhone 5 be launched in June or even September, it wouldn’t then incorporate the smaller micro-SIM cards.
Steve Jobs brought up the micro SIM card idea (3FF SIM) last January when he introduced the iPad. 3FF SIM cards have been developed by ETSI to be used by small devices that could not host 2 FF SIM cards. Not all carriers support the idea of using 3FF SIM cards in iDevices.
Last autumn, rumours suggested that Apple was working with Gemalto on a proprietary SIM card. The company allegedly planned to embed it in all its devices so that customers could activate iDevices as soon as they had bought them from Apple Stores. This would cut SIM sale revenue and carriers would have never agreed to that.