Apple has won a key patent in the battle to ensure that its SIM-card technology becomes the industry standard for mobile devices.
The patent pertains to connectors for Micro SIM cards (which Apple has now replaced with the Nano SIM) and the methods of transferring the cards in and out of smartphones or tablets safely and securely.
The ruling, published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Christmas Day, also covers "the plunger system" of ejecting the SIM card by using a metal pin, or SIM ejection tool.
The filing, uncovered by Patently Apple, specifically mentions iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, but can also apply to MacBooks and media centers, Apple has pointed out.
Apple has offered royalty-free licensing to rival companies if the European Telecommunications Standards Institute backed its new nano-SIM technology, which ended up appearing in the new iPhone 5.
The ETSI did back Apple and this most recent patent victory in the United States may discourage other companies from continuing their fight against Apple's SIM tech as the industry looks towards standardised solutions.