Apple Inc. (AAPL) is continuing its dominance in the mobile device industry, securing patents that can possibly affect the entire market. The latest patent is for the SIM connector found in all of Apple’s iOS devices capable of housing a SIM card. AAPL now controls the patent for the very SIM connector that is also found in most mobile devices in the market, meaning that other companies will have to obtain licensing from Apple in order to use it.
With this patent in the hands of Apple, the Cupertino, Calif. based company now has an advantage over its competitors, with the ability to change and model the connector for its devices in the near future. Apple and Nokia have been quarrelling over the designs of the connector for several years now, with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) setting standards for how certain companies can license the patents.
The latest SIM connector patent, was granted by United States Patent and Trademark Office on Christmas Day, and includes details on how the SIM can be inserted and ejected from a mobile device without damaging the card, including Apple’s own “plunger system”. The plunger system is the use of a SIM ejector tool, which were provided with iOS devices until recent years.
Apple now urges customers to simply use a paper clip to insert into the hole located near the SIM slot. The patent also covers devices other than the iPhone and iPad, including MacBooks and other devices. With Apple in control of the SIM patent, the company’s competitors such as Nokia will now have to remove many of their previously filed SIM-related patents.