When Apple launched the iPhone 4 back in 2010 it was the first smartphone to require a new smaller SIM card called the “microSIM”. Lots of people complained about the change and thousands of YouTube videos demonstrating how to cut your SIM card down to size with a pair scissors suddenly appeared. Earlier this year we heard about an even smaller SIM card standard, the so called “nanoSIM”. It’s roughly 40% smaller, making it damn near microscopic. The nanoSIM standard officially became a standard on the first day of June, and according to The Financial Times, European operators have already begun ordering tons of nanoSIM cards because they think that’s what the next iPhone will use. Does this story mean that the next iPhone is 100% guaranteed to use nanoSIM cards? We’re hesitant to say that, because we all know how secretive Apple is about their future plans, but we have a gut feeling that Apple told their operator partners about this whole nanoSIM business in order to guarantee that shortages don’t take place.
Now the bigger question, why do we even need nanoSIM cards? That’s easy, because the market demands devices that are incredibly thin, devices that can last all day on a single charge, and devices with the fastest processors on the face of the planet. Putting a big battery, a bunch of antennas, and a motherboard inside a device that’s less than 8 mm thick is a challenge. If the SIM card becomes smaller, then that means there’s more room inside a smartphone for handset vendors to utilize.
Late last year Apple applied for a patent on embeddable SIM cards. They want to take things even further by soldering the SIM directly onto the iPhone’s motherboard. Doing that would mean less moving parts (the SIM tray) and it would also give them more control over their devices.
Will the 2013 or 2014 iPhone not even have a SIM card slot? We’ll see.