Subscriber Identity Module Stories May 29, 2012

More photos of purported next iPhone surface, this time in white with suspect font

Update: We have what appear to be the real deal right here

Following our report from this morning on what may be the new iPhone back plate, MacRumors published three new images that it received from another parts supplier. You will obviously note that the “iPhone” font on this one looks much different from ours and the joints appear to be slightly…disjointed.

We are not exactly sure what is happening here, but this is interesting timing. And, we have more coming in 3…2…1…

Subscriber Identity Module Stories May 9, 2012

Apple’s nano-SIM design modified to ease concerns, standard decision looms

The Verge met with SIM manufacturer Giesecke & Devrient at the CTIA Wireless trade show to get an update on the 4FF standard, also known as the “nano-SIM,” which caused Apple and Nokia to duke it out in recent times. The firm is exhibiting Apple’s design at the show (above), a 3FF micro-SIM expansion that iOS users are familiar with, while none of Nokia’s competing design was present. When questioned if that suggested the company is going with Apple, G&D said, “We work with everybody,” and then elaborated:

  • The company tells [The Verge] that the ETSI vote on the 4FF standard that had been delayed back in March is actually now underway. Voting began for ETSI members in mid-April and wraps up in mid-May, mere days away. G&D is a voting member, though it wouldn’t tell [The Verge] which way it’s leaning — needless to say, the presence of Apple’s design here signals that they’ll almost certainly put their votes in that direction and away from Nokia’s more radical design that limits backward compatibility with micro-SIM and mini-SIM slots on older phones.
  • The delay in the vote had been due largely to Nokia’s vocal displeasure in Apple’s design, saying in March that Apple explicitly violated ETSI’s design guidelines for 4FF — guidelines that specified that a nano-SIM should be shaped in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible for a customer to accidentally jam it into a micro-SIM slot. G&D noted to [The Verge] that Apple’s design has now been modified: a small amount of plastic has been added around the edges of the electrical contacts, making the new nano-SIM just long enough so that it can’t be forced lengthwise into an incompatible socket. (The tradeoff, of course, is that the revised design is even less different than the micro-SIM it’s designed to replace, saving relatively little room inside the phone for other components.)

G&D also mentioned the micro-SIM took roughly five years before it introduced in the iPhone, but that same time frame is not expected now, because “adoption is being driven by a supplier […]we’ll see a product very soon after ratification.”  Therefore, it is assumed we would see a nano-SIM in at least next year’s iPhone, as long as the ETSI passes the tech this month.

Subscriber Identity Module Stories April 23, 2012

Weiphone’s Hacker Loktar_Sun just unearthed how to unlock an iPhone—including the iPhone 4S.

To complete Weiphone’s step-by-step unlock tutorial, the latest version of iTunes and a jailbroken iPhone is required. For those unaware, unlocking is the process of modifying an iPhone’s software so that it can operate through carriers other than its official carrier in a given country. Also, a jailbroken iPhone simply means it is freed from the limitations imposed by Apple for safety measures.  In other words, continue at your own risk.

The following process is straightforward for anyone familiar with unlocked or jailbroken iPhones: expand full story

Subscriber Identity Module Stories March 27, 2012

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking to have Apple drop the “4G” from the advertising/website of its new iPad products with cell modems…

The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the new “iPad with WiFi + 4G” is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.

Optus and Telstra do not use the compatible LTE radio frequencies as Apple’s iPad; therefore, new iPads are not compatible with the LTE 4G networks in Australia. Both mobile carriers already dropped the “4G” naming on the new iPad on their websites. However, Apple does display “iPad +4G” on the Apple.com.au website.

The speed that the iPad gets in Australia is pretty solid…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Importantly, Apple has the subtext:

The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.

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More importantly, it does not look like Australians play high and fast with marketing terms like “4G” as we do here in the United States, which now describes HSPA+ on AT&T iPhone 4S’s. expand full story

Subscriber Identity Module Stories February 10, 2012

Update: We’ve been told by a source at AT&T that those micro-SIMS are for the forthcoming Pantech Burst and Element which are also on the way to AT&T this week.

A regular AT&T SIM card (left) and a 4G LTE Micro-SIM (right). Click for larger.

A new batch of Micro-SIMs arrived at AT&T stores. We would normally pass on the news—if those were normal non-miniaturized 4G LTE Micro-SIMs. Based on an anonymous tip, Phone Arena noted AT&T now getting LTE Micro-SIM cards “could be an indication that the next iPhone will finally support 4G LTE connectivity.” If you ask us, those are likely for the Nokia Lumia 900 that is hitting the AT&T network on March 18.

Granted, it is not entirely out of question that AT&T LTE Micro-SIMs are in anticipation of a sixth-generation iPhone that is presumably scheduled for an announcement this summer. Apple was the first major handset maker to switch to tiny 3G SIM cards with iPhone 4, which was a move born out of necessity due to space constraints in the 9.3mm device. The iPhone 4/4S are the only Apple products compatible with the Micro-SIM standard.

What about the iPad 3, you ask….

expand full story

Subscriber Identity Module Stories November 11, 2011

Apple’s US online store today began accepting orders for the unlocked iPhone 4S, priced at $649/$749/$849 for the 16/32/64GB version, making good on its promise to provide the unlocked handset in November. The company advises:

The unlocked iPhone works only on supported GSM networks, such as AT&T in the U.S. When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM card from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone will not work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

An unlocked iPhone 4S is of particular interest to those traveling abroad as they can just pop in a local carrier’s SIM card to avoid paying exorbitant roaming fees.

Meanwhile, carrier Sprint today begun SIM-locking all iPhone 4S devices purchased Friday, November 11, 2011 and onwards, SprintFeed noted. According to SprintFeed:

Starting tomorrow, all iPhone 4S devices will have the SIM locked. The locking occurs during the activation process and is invisible to the customer (no extra action is needed by customer or rep).

9to5Mac discovered mid-October that Apple Stores in the United States were selling contract-free iPhones. Any GSM phone that was sold off contract was unlocked and we’ve confirmed that they’ve stayed unlocked, even after the 5.0.1 update (below). expand full story

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