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Apple Granted SIM Connector Patent

By - Source: Patently Apple | B 31 comments

Proposed technology would allow SIM cards to be easily swapped into mobile devices.

Apple has been granted a patent for connectors that are utilized to replace or remove SIM cards in mobile devices.

The patent relates to connectors that allow for multiple methods of inserting a SIM card. One such method is the "plunger system," where a user pushes on a plunger rod to reject the SIM card.

Apple said that the connector patent covers a number of SIM cards, which would supposedly range from the larger standard cards to the company's own micro-SIM cards for its iPhone (nano-SIM card for the iPhone 5).

The filing mentions iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad, but it can also apply to MacBooks and media centers, Apple said.

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  • 18 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 6:21 AM
    Seems asinine to patent this. I'm starting to believe Apple is in trouble AND they know it. They're out of fresh ideas and they're just trying to slow down the inevitable ...and thus they're grasping at straws such as this.
  • 17 Hide
    hannibal , January 1, 2013 7:47 AM
    Yep, this is insane... Most of these are slot systems that are used for example cd, c-casette, game cartridges, program cards... and so on...
  • 13 Hide
    Darkerson , January 1, 2013 6:22 AM
    Oh joy another patent that will get used somehow to make Apple even more money through litigation and threats. Just what we all need!

    And of course they are out of original ideas. Which means they actually have to do something besides slightly refreshing existing hardware since their lord and savior isnt there to berate them into their next product and wont be coming back to save their asses this time if they dont actually make something new and interesting without him.

    Tick-Tock, Apple, Tick-Tock!
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 6:21 AM
    Seems asinine to patent this. I'm starting to believe Apple is in trouble AND they know it. They're out of fresh ideas and they're just trying to slow down the inevitable ...and thus they're grasping at straws such as this.
  • 13 Hide
    Darkerson , January 1, 2013 6:22 AM
    Oh joy another patent that will get used somehow to make Apple even more money through litigation and threats. Just what we all need!

    And of course they are out of original ideas. Which means they actually have to do something besides slightly refreshing existing hardware since their lord and savior isnt there to berate them into their next product and wont be coming back to save their asses this time if they dont actually make something new and interesting without him.

    Tick-Tock, Apple, Tick-Tock!
  • 8 Hide
    InvalidError , January 1, 2013 6:29 AM
    Last time I checked, we were still four months early for April 1st.

    Considering how long ago standard SIMs have been around, I am a little surprised there would still be any sensible insertion/removal methods left to patent that haven't already been used elsewhere.

    Wish companies that file large amounts of frivolous patents could get fined for wasting the PTOs' time... companies have better things to do than go through every possible but not necessarily practical ways of plugging things into each other just to bypass silly patents that are just a minor tweak to sometimes 50+ years old concepts.
  • 17 Hide
    hannibal , January 1, 2013 7:47 AM
    Yep, this is insane... Most of these are slot systems that are used for example cd, c-casette, game cartridges, program cards... and so on...
  • 11 Hide
    opmopadop , January 1, 2013 8:34 AM
    1. "user pushes on a plunger rod to reject the SIM card"... eject?

    2. First thing I thought of was a drive caddy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caddy_(hardware)
  • 5 Hide
    billgatez , January 1, 2013 9:39 AM
    Congrats Apple on some how getting a patent on gold plated connectors.
  • -7 Hide
    homiedontrightclick , January 1, 2013 9:54 AM
    halcyonSeems asinine to patent this. I'm starting to believe Apple is in trouble AND they know it. They're out of fresh ideas and they're just trying to slow down the inevitable ...and thus they're grasping at straws such as this.



    Apple is in trouble? Check the recent windows phone/win 8 fail, and lets talk about trouble. Lets talk about having to adapt your entire new OS to fit a world that already moved ahead long ago, and still failing overall. Windows 8 is gorgeous, but is absolutely worthless in almost every other respect. I love having a "start" screen before having to switch back to "desktop" mode. What a calamity.

    We all know Microsoft isn't going anywhere. We should also assume that Apple isn't going anywhere either. Them grabbing up patents is merely greed, and nothing else. A company being this lame isn't anything totally new.
    Sure, if you smother out what all the other companies are doing/can do in the future you're sort of guaranteeing success, but it also forces people to innovate, and this is where I think Apple may be shooting themselves in the foot. I honestly think they're going to force other companies to innovate completely new products to work around all their patent BS and just might find themselves behind the curve because of it.
    While I am a huge Apple fan, I also like the fact that there are alternatives if Apple every goes in a direction I don't like. I like that. I like the fact that I switched from Windows to Apple after a lifetime of using Windows, and can see the merits of both OS(and other OS's for that matter) just by being a bit open minded. I'm currently trying to do it with Win 8, but I'm not loving the experience.
    Its just funny to me that so many people are waiting for Apple to fail. Like they're going to personally benefit from Apple going under. Like they actually have personal vendetta against the company. I'm guessing that all of the readers and posters here on Toms Hardware are at least of average intelligence, with the majority being well above the average mark. I find it hard to imagine so many smart people that are obviously tech savvy with a mind for the future are so concerned with making anti Apple post at every turn, with no real benefit other than feeling satisfied that you've fired off incognito style on the internet.
  • 4 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 10:17 AM
    I'm an Apple fan as well. Generally, I appreciate their build quality/materials (withthe exception of the iP5). I love the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro. I'm no fanboy though. Opinionated, yes...fanboy...no. iOS is completely TIRED compared to ICS/JellyBean and the iPhone 5's use of soft/weak aluminium really left a sour taste in my mouth. Just no excuse for weak build materials on something as expensive as an iPhone. ...not to mention the eentsy-beentsy tiny little microscopic screens on the iPhone. I have a Note 2 and S3 so you can imagine why the iPhone seems so ...so...inadequate. Apple needs to correct the iPhone so it doesn't just appeal to folks that don't know any better, are tech-simple, or just want to impress others with their having money to waste just like Samsung needs to improve the screen resolutions and body material on their tablets (the painted plastic on the Galaxy Tab just looks cheap compared to the iPad and Asus' Transformer Prime/Infinity...does it not?)

    Windows Phone? No thanks... Windows 8 ruined any opportunity I might give that. SurfaceRT or Pro? Not interested...at all, Android is doing quite well...why would I want or need to take the risk of buying a Surface? Anyone?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 1, 2013 1:42 PM
    now they only need to patent a way to swap batteries...
  • 3 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 1:51 PM
    ^ I read that they're working on a patent for the desire to swap batteries as well as a patent for any batteries that lasts more than 5 minutes.
  • 1 Hide
    cookoy , January 1, 2013 2:43 PM
    dumb, just plain dumb to grant a patent for this
  • 1 Hide
    jojesa , January 1, 2013 2:56 PM
    I had this connector on a Treo 600 series in 2003.
    Do the patent office is still in a cave. Who in the right mind awarded this bull$hit.
  • 2 Hide
    unksol , January 1, 2013 3:17 PM
    So you can take a well known and accepted method of inserting/ejecting a card. Apply it to another card. And get a patent?

    We need to have a class action law suit against the patent office. Enough is enough. Apple. And others. Abuse a stupid system
  • 0 Hide
    dns7950 , January 1, 2013 3:17 PM
    I thought this had been done for ages?? I know my Nexus 7 has this exact same thing, where you insert the Micro-SIM into a little tray and push it into a slot on the side of the tablet, and then eject it by pushing a pin (or the included "ejector tool"... lol) into a little hole..Wouldn't this be considered "prior art" by Google/Asus? Even if the Nexus 7 wasn't the first device to feature this, it has definitely been done before Apple.. Patents like this should be thrown out... I'm highly against frivolous lawsuits, but I would love to see Apple get sued over this since they are the ones attempting to stifle innovation..
  • 2 Hide
    unksol , January 1, 2013 3:29 PM
    Quote:

    Windows Phone? No thanks... Windows 8 ruined any opportunity I might give that. SurfaceRT or Pro? Not interested...at all, Android is doing quite well...why would I want or need to take the risk of buying a Surface? Anyone?


    I don't have. Or want. Surface. But a tablet that plugs,and plays easily with active Directory, runs windows features, supports remote access etc. is big for business. Why integrate ios if you can plug and play windows? Its very good for companies and for admins. and for people remote and on call.

    Its "lazy" but when I get called at 3am id love to be able to remote access on my tablet. or phone. And take care of it. From bed. Or being out. Instead I have to disconnect and haul my laptop everywhere.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , January 1, 2013 4:19 PM
    Speaking of "plunger" ejection, that reminds me of my Toshiba CDT430 laptop: its PCMCIA slots did have "plungers" popping out when a card was inserted that you had to push on to eject cards. IIRC, my old Canon PowerShot camera also had a similar mechanism for its CompactFlash card.

    Adapting an old mechanism to new card formats seems far too trivial and obvious to be patent-worthy.

    Same goes for pop-in, pop-out type slots which are based on the same fundamental mechanism as push-on, push-off switches from 50+ years ago, you just use stronger springs and slap an appropriate caddy and contact fingers for the card on in place of the switch's button and electrical components.
  • 2 Hide
    rantoc , January 1, 2013 6:18 PM
    And here is the answer why the US patents more and more frequently gets rejected around the world, the US PTO have started to loose credibility by allowing this kind of patents!
  • 1 Hide
    reprotected , January 1, 2013 7:47 PM
    rantocAnd here is the answer why the US patents more and more frequently gets rejected around the world, the US PTO have started to loose credibility by allowing this kind of patents!

    That argument is as valid as saying Bill Gates not allowing Apple products to being in his household because Apple products suck.

    Apple is capitalism done right, and they take advantage of everything like every other company does to maximize profit and slow down their competition. They have good lawyers, and no government policies are invincible to loopholes and their own faults. Unlike printing new currency bills and destroying all old bills to prevent or reduce counterfeiting, changing the patent system is like patching Java.

    I'm surprised no one is complaining about Google, but I guess everyone here reads "non-bias" tech news.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , January 1, 2013 8:57 PM
    Just start charging 10% of their current R&D (or cash reserves) per patent application. That should slow them down a little and give the little man a chance in hell!
  • -1 Hide
    unksol , January 1, 2013 9:22 PM
    Quote:
    That argument is as valid as saying Bill Gates not allowing Apple products to being in his household because Apple products suck


    I'm confused? You're saying his statement is extremely valid?
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