Apple Inc (AAPL) Awarded New Patent and Market Doesn’t Seem to Notice

Despite Apple (AAPL) stock holding steady in the mid-$500’s after its recent slide Tuesday in trading, a small victory in the field SIM card technology was had by the tech giant today, which Roger Chung of CNET believes “may be a handy weapon given recent battles over SIM card standards.”

The patent awarded to Apple Inc. covers a design for connectors that allows for SIM cards to be inserted into a device multiple ways, including a unique “plunger system” allowing for an end-user to push on a plunger rod for card ejection. Considering that the battle for future SIM card design has been a heated one, an approved patent may help the company’s continued stance on free-use of its technologies in exchange for similar provision from other providers.

While this patent win may have some long-term implications for Apple, what’s in the company’s immediate future seems to be anyone’s guess. Someone’s trying to start rumors of an Apple Banking system again, but I’d wager that consumer confidence in the Cupertino tech giant would have to soar to make a large share in that market to enact a remote possibility, even though 43% of Apple users polled in March said they’d consider using one.

So far we’ve covered the rumor mill potential for a lighter iPad with retina display and we’ve also considered what it would take for Apple TV to be worth its salt. As all the past week’s rumors coalesce, two major themes seem to be emerging—Apple’s got to consider more than the cell phone and tablet game, and it’s got to look at content provision and delivery before it would roll out Apple TV or a potential set-top box.

In the year-end round up of tech debacles, however, the one thing that analysts seem to agree upon in Apple News is the abysmal failure of Apple Maps. Ranking alongside the Petraeus affair and Lance Armstrong scandals as US News and World Report’s “Top Ten Losers in 2012,” and dubbed “The Number One Tech Disaster of the Year” by Forbes—Apple Maps appears to be another sign that Apple has got to look at its content and services before it looks solely at the next device. A mid-December announcement that the app was dangerous issued by a rural Australian police department because travelers were getting stranded in the desert hasn’t helped the app’s image either.

The silver lining? Cable Television operators are right along side Apple Maps on the same US News “Losers” list as more and more families are cutting the cord and getting their television needs met elsewhere in means that provide a-la-carte and on-demand services—so it seems that content is indeed king, and a great device that will revolutionize delivery is still a market with room for a major player.