Chances are you’ve never heard of Giesecke & Devrient, which is sad because without them the world wouldn’t work. They manufactured the mobile industry’s first commercial SIM card, they provide authentication services for government institutions, and get this, they even print money. If you’re using a device that relies on GSM technology, then in all likelihood the SIM card inside your phone was made by Giesecke & Devrient. Now today most handsets still use regular size SIM cards; they measure 25 mm x 15 mm. When Apple introduced the 3G enabled iPad in early 2010, it was the first device to make use of the new microSIM card format; they measure just 15 mm x 12 mm. The second device to implement microSIM was of course another Apple product, the iPhone 4, but now Nokia is making use of them too in both of their new Windows Phones, the Lumia 710 and 800. Why go with a smaller card? Simple, because it gives you the chance to put more stuff inside a smartphone, including a bigger battery.
Today Giesecke & Devrient is announcing a new SIM card form factor, the nanoSIM. At an astonishing 12 mm x 9 mm it’s 30% smaller than the still relatively unused microSIM card, and a whopping 60% smaller than the regular SIM cards in a majority of the devices out on the market. Even better, it’s 15% thinner than previous SIM cards. Giesecke & Devrient says that we can expect to see devices using the new form factor as early as 2012, and if we had to place some bets we’d say it’s going to be in an Apple product, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see Nokia push the envelope like they’ve done with the Lumia 800.
We contacted Giesecke & Devrient to see if they had any photos of their new nanoSIM, and unfortunately they don’t. If anyone is going to be at the CARTES & IDentification 2011 trade show in Paris next week, we’d appreciate it if you could stop by and snap some photos.
[Photo above generated with the online tool SizeEasy]
Update: Back in May of this year Apple proposed nanoSIM cards to the European telecoms standards body. Orange supported the idea.