Orange backs Apple plan for smaller SIM

PARIS Tue May 17, 2011 11:50am EDT

An Apple store employee gives a class on how to use the new iPad 2 during the China launch at an Apple Store in central Beijing in this May 6, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/David Gray

An Apple store employee gives a class on how to use the new iPad 2 during the China launch at an Apple Store in central Beijing in this May 6, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray

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PARIS (Reuters) - Apple (AAPL.O) has proposed a standardized SIM card smaller than those it currently uses in the iPhone and iPad in order to be able to produce thinner devices, an Orange FTE.PA executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor -- smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad," said Anne Bouverot, Orange's head of mobile services.

"They have done that through the standardization route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them," she told the Paris leg of the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

She said the process would take time and that the first devices using such SIM cards could come out next year.

ETSI had no immediate comment, and Apple was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Leila Abboud, Marie Mawad, Georgina Prodhan and Tarmo Virki; Editing by James Regan)

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