Subscriber Identity Module cards, or SIM cards as they’re more commonly known, are used to identify your device on a network and nano SIM cards are the smallest SIM cards currently available. They are now very widespread, especially amongst smartphones.
Where did nano SIM cards come from?
First introduced at the end of 2012, nano SIMs have been slowly taking over from micro SIM cards that themselves took over from the mini SIM (or standard SIM) – which can only be found in older phones such as the iPhone 3GS.
While micro SIM cards are basically cut down versions of mini SIM cards, the nano SIM was designed specifically to help cut down on space in new smartphones. So, while the design is similar to the micro SIM, it is in fact very different.
Replacing your SIM
If you’re upgrading your phone from one that has a micro SIM to one that takes a nano SIM, then your only option is to buy a new SIM card. You can still keep your number by transferring it over, but you won’t be able to use your old SIM.
One thing that you absolutely should not do is cut down your micro SIM to try and make it fit into a nano SIM slot. This became popular when they were first introduced in the iPhone 5 as nano SIMs were hard to get hold of, but cutting down a SIM card runs the risk of breaking the card completely as you are cutting through copper circuitry, as well as plastic casing.
Even if you did manage to cut it down successfully, nano SIMs are actually a fair bit thinner than micro SIMs so forcing a cut-down micro SIM into a nano SIM slot could easily break your phone.
Going the other way is actually very easy as there is now a wide range of adapters available to allow you to use nano SIMs in a micro or mini SIM slot, so you can use your new nano SIM contract on your older unlocked phone.
What do nano SIMs look like?
Nano SIMs are a fair bit smaller than the previous micro SIMS at just 12.3 × 8.8 × 0.67mm. Not only have they cut down on the plastic surrounding the integrated circuit, they have also cut down the size of the actual circuit itself. They’ve also made the whole thing approximately 15% thinner.
Essentially all that is left after this reduction is the contact area and a small rim of isolating material that surrounds it to avoid any short-circuiting.
What’s the future of SIMs?
As smartphones continue on their quest to become ever thinner, it seems likely that SIM cards will shrink even further or perhaps be done away with completely to be integrated into devices at the point of manufacture.
Whatever comes for SIMs in the future, we’re sure that smartphones are only going to get better, faster, and (hopefully) stronger.