RIM accuses Apple of nano-SIM vote rigging

RIM may be in turmoil but that hasn't stopped the company vocally wading into the nano-SIM argument with Apple, joining Nokia in voicing protests over the Cupertino company's voting tactics for the next-gen card. In a letter sent from RIM to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) this week, the company accuses three Apple employees of re-registering their affiliation, in what RIM suggests is a tactic to further weight the vote toward Apple's nano-SIM design.

"Over the last few days we have observed a number of representatives from one company changing their affiliation over night" RIM wrote in the letter, submitted to the ETSI on Wednesday, "and registering to the meeting not representing their employer or any of their affiliates but representing a completely different company." The company cites three Apple UK employees who have apparently registered as representatives of Bell Mobility, KT Corp. and SK Telekom, as well as a Vodafone D2 GmbH employee registered as Telekom Austria AG.

RIM's concern, it appears, is that Apple and Vodafone are looking to gain extra votes when the nano-SIM designs are decided upon by ETSI members. The design Apple prefers – which is more readily backward compatible with existing microSIMs, though would require an adapter tray to actually fit into devices – is supposedly the preferred design of multiple European carriers as well.

Nokia had previously accused Apple of attempting to individually register six European Apple subsidiaries with the ETSI, again so as to grab more voting share. Currently the Finnish company holds the greatest individual voting power, but should Apple's registration be approved each of the six subsidiaries would gain 45 votes of their own.

"As a consequence," RIM wrote in its letter [.doc link] this week, "we kindly ask that neither shall a person of one company who is appointed to carry the votes of another company be entitled to cast a vote on behalf of that company, nor shall a person of one company who is registered in the place of a person from another company and appointed to cast a vote on behalf of that other company, be allowed to cast a vote on behalf of that company."

[via PC World]