Subscriber Identity Module Stories August 9, 2012

According to a new report from French publication Nowhereelse.fe and Chinese forum iColorOS, more sixth-generation iPhone parts have surfaced from China. As you can see above, we now have a look at the alleged glass front, home button, sensors, volume control buttons, and the protection element placed on the back of the phone screen that may appear in the next iPhone. The leak also adds a bit more validity to a report earlier this week that showed a new nano-SIM card and smaller home buttons for the device.

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Subscriber Identity Module Stories July 16, 2012

According to a report from Financial Times, carriers in Europe are stocking up on mini SIM cards designed for Apple’s next-generation iPhone in anticipation of the device’s expected October launch. In June, reports speculated that Apple’s nano-SIM design for the new 4FF standard was selected by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, while hands-on video of the next-generation iPhone backs, which we first revealed in May, showed what appeared to be a smaller SIM card holder.

Today’s report from FT claimed Apple’s nano SIM card design is indeed the mini SIMs being purchased by European operators:

Operators expect that the iPhone will feature the nano sim in a slimmed down design, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation, and have begun to store millions of the cards in warehouses in anticipation of high demand for Apple’s iPhone. Apple declined to comment[Shocker]…

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Subscriber Identity Module Stories July 6, 2012

Subscriber Identity Module Stories June 18, 2012

Apple extends deal with Liquidmetal Technologies until 2014

As noted by MacRumors, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed today that Liquidmetal Technologies will continue to license its technology to Apple through Feb. 5, 2014. The previous deal from 2010 gave Apple rights to the patented amorphous metal alloys through Feb. 5 2012. As of yet, we only know Apple has tested Liquidmetal in its iPhone SIM card ejector tools, but we recently heard CEO Thomas Steipp (above) hinting that Apple plans to commercialize the technology. Rumors in April indicated it could be used in products on a larger scale within a few years.

Subscriber Identity Module Stories June 4, 2012

Liquidmetal Technologies CEO confirms upcoming parts in Apple consumer products [video]

Apple has been said to use the oh-so shiny Liquidmetal technology ever since the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company obtained a patent to use Liquidmetal in its products in 2o1o. Apple ran a test using Liquidmetal in its SIM card ejector tool, and it is further rumored to be investigating uses in batteries. Some even said that Liquidmetal would be used in the next iPhone. However, it is unlikely that the casing will be made of the material.

In what looks to be a video aimed toward potential investors, Liquidmetal Technologies’ CEO Tom Steipp confirmed his company’s involvement by announcing it is supplying Liquidmetal to Apple. In the video seen below, the CEO said (55 seconds): “Our technology has been commercialized in a number of accounts,most recently by Apple computer, which took a license on the product in August of 2010. [Apple] along with us are commercializing [Liquidmetal] in the consumer electronic space.”

We do not believe Steipp is confirming Liquidmetal as a feature in the next iPhone, iPad, or computer on a large-scale. Although, it appears he is confirming that Apple will/has used Liquidmetal for more expensive parts—perhaps dealing with dense batteries. It makes sense for Apple to use the best materials out there.

This is not the first time we have heard from Steipp:

Subscriber Identity Module Stories June 1, 2012

We already knew that Apple is pushing hard to have the European Telecommunications Standards Institute select its nano-SIM card design over competitors like Nokia and Motorola, who proposed their own alternative design with RIM. While it was rumored that Apple had support from the majority of European operators, the ETSI confirmed today that it has selected a form factor for the new 4FF SIM Card:

The fourth form factor (4FF) card will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, at 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick. It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs. The new design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards.

The announcement from the ESTI does not flat-out confirm Apple’s design was chosen, but we are able to confirm that the new form factor does match up nicely with measurements of Apple’s proposed design thanks to a little bit of investigative work courtesy of The Verge. Unfortunately, Nokia and Motorola’s proposed design had almost identical dimensions. We will have to wait for more official information on the new standard from ESTI before we know for sure that Apple’s design was selected.

The ESTI explained the standard would be published in its TS 102 221 specification:

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