Just when we thought that microSIM design is the smallest that weâ€™ll see on a mobile phone, a new reduced design has been approved to take over its place as the industry standard — the nano-SIM.
ETSI (European Telecommunication Standard Institute) has recently approved Apple’s new smaller SIM card design dubbed as the 4FF (4th Form Factor) or Nano-SIM. As the name implies, the new SIM design will be 40% smaller than the current 3FF (3rd Form Factor) Micro-SIM design which is a third smaller than the conventional SIM card.
Amongst the company who submitted their nano-SIM proposals were Apple, Motorola, RIM and Nokia. Much like the politics here in our country, the other three who lost the approval of ETSI felt like their design is much superior to the one who won. The most bitter of them all was Nokia who thinks that Apple’s nano-SIM design is inferior and is not suitable for a number of applications. In March of this year, they also said that they wouldnâ€™t pattern their relevant patents to Apple’s nano-SIM design if ever it’s selected.
So what’s in it for us? I mean, we were just adjusting to the fact that our beloved device/s (and those devices that weâ€™re eyeing to buy) use the micro-SIM design and now weâ€™re faced with another SIM design that would become the industry standard. Users who have transitioned to conventional sized SIM card to micro-SIM have tried all sorts of things (either cutting their SIM themselves or have it cut by someone else) just to be able to use their new device while keeping their old number or having their telco transfer their old number to a new micro-SIM.
Whichever method you opted for, it is indeed a ROYAL PAIN IN THE NECK and anyone of us wouldâ€™ve just preferred for those devices to have an old-school SIM. When faced with this question, here’s what ETSI has to say:
“Today’s SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device and this space is more and more valuable in today’s handsets which deliver an ever-increasing number of features.”
Here’s our thought about it — more space for other phone components means more device capability. Fitting several components in a below 9mm thin body is not an easy task, especially when manufacturers try to squeeze in more and more feature to a device making it smarter and faster than its predecessor. A smaller real estate for the SIM card is an advantage to everyone as manufacturers has more space to work with which in return makes for a more powerful device with the same form factor if not slimmer. And because of the additional room, a bigger battery can also be expected out of newer smartphones that translates to longer device usage.
Given the aforementioned benefit amongst other benefits (if there are others) we can say that the Nano-SIM is geared for the betterment of future devices. Though some of us (like me) would still prefer the conventional SIM, at the end of the day we really donâ€™t have much choice but to stick with what manufacturers are giving us.
On the side note, since Apple’s proposal was chosen to be the next industry standard for SIM card design, it’s highly probable that iPhone 5 (assuming that it will be named as such) will be the first device to sport the Nano-SIM technology. Let’s wait and see how it will turn out.