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Mobile-Phone Makers End Deadlock on Standard for New SIM Cards

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Mobile-phone makers agreed on a new standard for smaller SIM cards, overcoming a deadlock in which Finland’s Nokia Oyj and Apple Inc. had competing proposals.

The so-called “fourth form factor” will be 40 percent smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute said in a statement on its Web site, following a meeting held May 31 and June 1 in Osaka, Japan. “It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs.”

ETSI agreed to pick Apple’s SIM card standard, beating a proposal from Nokia, MacWorld said on its website, citing cardmaker Giesecke & Devrient. Spokespersons for ETSI and Nokia couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

In March, a two-day meeting to adopt a format from competing proposals by Apple and Nokia finished without reaching a decision. The smartcards that identify wireless subscribers are standardized to reduce industry costs and give consumers freedom to switch handsets and networks. Smaller versions permit the design of thinner phones.

To contact the reporters on this story:

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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