To help make future iPhones smaller, Apple is fighting to have its way on what the next-generation SIM cards will look like.

In the European tussel over the nano-SIM, Apple is fighting against competitor (and Microsoft lackey) Nokia over the standards. Just like on the micro-SIM that powers the iPhone 4S and new iPad, Apple wants a drawer to protect the nano-SIM.

But Nokia isn’t pleased, saying its design has technical advantages. RIM is also favoring Nokia’s proposal.

There is also fear over patents. While the standard would be available for use by manufacturers to license, some believe that Apple may eventually own the patents contained in its proposal, which might spark yet another patent war. (As if we don’t have enough.)

The European standards body ETSI is set to vote on the proposal next week. And just to make sure Apple gets its way, the company is applying to become the largest voting member of the body, overtaking (you guessed it) Nokia.

Apple’s push for its design of the nano-SIM is consistent with the company’s desire to shrink the design of future iPhones. News leaked late last month that Apple was looking to do away with the ubiquitous 30-pin dock connector to help save space inside the new iPhone for other more important components. Some of the desire to change the connector size is that with the introduction of iCloud, Wi-Fi sync and AirPlay, users don’t use the connector as often.

So, are you ready to swap your micro-SIM for a nano version?

(Photo via theunwired.net)