SIM sizes. Our SIM guide is here.
Starting at the fundamentals. SIMs are basically smart chips on a piece of plastic. It’s a software profile locked to those chips where the magic happens.
A few of the guys at Apple decided to change the size of that piece of plastic from Mini-SIM (what most people see as the standard size SIM), to a ‘Micro-SIM’ for the release of their iPhone 4, and also subsequent 4S. Android phones are mostly Mini-SIM size but an increasing number use the Micro-SIM sizes ie the newer Galaxy phones. The ultimate guide to checking your SIM size and all other phone specs is here at GSM Arena.
The Apple guys decided to go a step further for their iPhone 5, cutting even more plastic down to the ‘Nano-SIM’.
Same chip, different size plastic around it.
It really doesn’t make any impact other than making a tiny bit more space in phone (very marginal really), and causing a raft of headaches for guys like me (and Telco suppliers), as we have to make sure that you have got the right size SIM for your phone. You can quite easily cut the SIM down (even cut the metal/foil part of the SIM), as long as you don’t cut into the actual chip at the heart of it.
The Nano-SIM doesn’t leave too much more room for future trimming, unless Apple starts really upsetting the Telco ‘apple-cart’ and use some of their patents in the field of virtual SIM technology. Done properly, I think virtual SIM tech would be a good thing for everyone, but is probably not going happen in a hurry for a number of reasons (maybe a future blog post). The other option I’m currently weighing up is just to switch to all Nano-SIM stock, and supply adapters that people can use as and when needed ie Nano can convert to Micro or Mini size SIMs with a cheap, easy to use adapter that doesn’t affect your phone.
So end point of this.
I’ve recently had a few queries on this area, and have just updated our SIM size page here, to include iPad and Android SIM sizes.
Let me know if you have any other SIM size info I should add, or devices I should be covering, by posting a comment here.
Written by Peter Cain
Peter Cain is the Founder and CEO of dataGO.co, a company committed to making it easier and cheaper to stay connected whilst travelling. You can find him on Twitter and Google+. You can also find dataGO on Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, and Google+ for all the latest info on local and roaming SIMs and data hotspots.