iPhone 5 confirmed as smaller and thinner

It's not from the mouth of Steve Jobs, but when it comes to the iPhone, it's fair to say that France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard is well versed. The company, under the Orange brand, sells the iPhone in 15 countries, including our own. So it's no surprise to hear he knows about the iPhone 5.

He's just given an interview to AllThingsD in which he gives away a couple of tasty snippets about the next iPhone, putting to bed another rumour along the way. For a start, he has confirmed that Orange is working with Apple on a smaller SIM card, a halfway house between the company's desire for a SIM and Apple's desire for a virtual SIM card, something we outlined last year.

According to Mr Richard: 'As you probably know, Apple has been working for years on reducing the size of SIM cards because they need space in the phone. They even thought about a device without any SIM card – that is what is known as the e-SIM project.'

'All of us told them it was a bad idea because the SIM card is a critical piece of the security and authentication process. It would be very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship. I think that they understood this point. We had a very constructive exchange and dialogue with them. We are going to work with them in order to standardise a new format of SIM which takes into accout our needs with security and authentication and also is compatible with their wishes in terms of size.'
He then let slip some interesting details on the next iPhone model: 'I understood that the next iPhone would be smaller and thinner and they are definitely seeking some space. This is good evidence we can work properly with Apple people and Apple teams. In that particular case, we have been able to find, I think, a good answer which is good for everyone.'

So a smaller, thinner iPhone with an enhanced chip, NFC technology, a larger screen, new operating system and arriving later than usual. You can pretty much take all that as read now.

Interestingly, Mr Richard also indicates the networks' potential concerns over Apple and net neutrality, specifically Apple's complete control of apps and the inability to embed apps into handsets rather than go through the app store. That's not a problem while Apple allows free access to the app store. But he continued: 'The problem is the day when Apple says 'I don’t want this one.''

'Definitely if we face these kind of problems we will go to court. Because competition is not only something that should be applied to telcos and to carriers. For us it should be a principle for the whole Internet environment.'

So not all sweetness and light between Apple and the networks. You probably knew that anyway.

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