The patent was originally filed by Apple in the third quarter of 2010 and was credited to Zheng Gao, Benjamin Rappoport, and Steve McClure. The main goal was to provide a connector that could not get damaged by the incorrect insertion of a SIM card. For example, let's say that someone inserts their SIM card in backward and needs to remove it. The patented technology makes it easy to remove the SIM card because it prevents the connector from getting damaged when the card was inserted improperly in the first place. Using a plunger system, the card is safely removed without any damage being dome to the connector. For those keeping track, the patent awarded to Apple is 8,337,223.
source: USPTO, PatentlyApple via Engadget