New nano-SIM card will result in thinner smartphones

11. November 2011
A new, smaller SIM card, dubbed nano-SIM, will free up room for additional memory and larger batteries, helping phone vendors create thinner devices, German company Giesecke & Devrient said on Friday.

Measuring approximately 12 millimeters by 9 millimeters, the nano-SIM is about 30 percent smaller than the micro-SIM. The thickness of the cards has been reduced by about 15 percent, according to Giesecke & Devrient. The new nano-SIM is approximately 60 percent smaller than traditional-size SIM cards, which are still used by a majority of phones, the company said.

Giesecke & Devrient expects to first phones to use the nano-SIM will arrive as soon as next year, it said. Using adapters, the card format will be backward-compatible.

The company has shipped initial samples to mobile network operators for testing. The standardization of the nano-SIM is expected to be implemented through ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) by the end of the year.

AppleApple, which already uses the micro-SIM, has been involved in developing the new form factor. In May, the company filed a proposal for a smaller card. There are so many different things that go into today's smartphones, so anything that can be done to save space is a good thing, Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said at the time. Alles zu Apple auf CIO.de

Last week, Apple's future plans for the SIM also made the news when a patent application for a virtual card surfaced. A SIM card slot in user devices tends to make devices bulky and add cost, and users may also want to buy wireless services when they can't easily obtain a physical SIM card, according to the application.