It’s a fairly common occurrence to have companies file for patents for their new technologies and innovation. Apple is one such company, although it has been called a rather ruthless patent troll on several occasions. The Cupertino based company filed a new patent back in 2010 for a unit which would aid in the easy insertion and removal of the SIM card (micro or mini SIM) with a plunger in place inside the unit. This new unit would help the user remove the SIM card from the slot even if it is wrongly inserted, all thanks to the plunger inside. Usually, when we insert the SIM card wrongly and by that we mean in reverse, it kind of gets stuck. But this wouldn’t let that happen and would come out easily. Also, this new technology will avoid the innards getting damaged due to wrongful insertion of the SIM card, so this is beneficial in more ways than one. However, in many new smartphones, we see SIM card trays popping out of the device where the user has to place the SIM and drag the tray inside, so this patent will only apply to Apple devices. And Apple now has been awarded the said patent which is a huge moral boost for the company. They didn’t fail to give the credit to its inventors – Steve McClure, Zheng Gao and Benjamin Rappoport. You can find full details of this patent by searching for patent 8,337,223.
This is what Apple’s patent filing says – “Connectors that may allow SIM cards to be easily removed and replaced, may be resistant to damage by an improper insertion of a SIM card, and may provide reliable mechanical performance. One example may provide a plunger system where a user can push on a plunger rod and eject a SIM card. Another example may provide contacts that are not damaged by improper insertion of a SIM card. Another example may provide a plastic housing, the housing reinforced by a metallic shield and having a relatively uniform thickness”.
There is still no word on when we’ll see the patent come to use, but we’re guessing it should be in place for next gen iDevices in 2013. Apple has mentioned in the patent diagram that the SIM card tray may be used on the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro or even a monitor which could slightly indicate what Apple has in store for us. Apple currently uses the nano SIM for its 6th gen iPhone, which invoked quite a lot of debate before its launch over the technology used, especially from Nokia. It is to be seen how the tech world will react to USPTO awarding this new SIM Card connector patent to Apple.