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back to article Euro cellcos hoard nano Sims ahead of iPhone 5 launch

More evidence, perhaps, for the iPhone 5's not-far-off-now launch: European mobile network operators are eagerly ordering millions of nano-sized Sim cards. Keen to avoid being stuck for suitable Sims - which happened when Apple launched the micro Sim-equipped iPhone 4 in 2010 - the cellcos are this time laying their mitts on as …

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Why?

Why do we need yet smaller sims? As long as they are smaller than the phone, they will be fine.

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Re: Why?

Generally, I mostly agree with your first comment, but your second isn't logical... surely a SIM which is marginally smaller than the phone is going to drastically increase the size of the phone?

I think Apple et al's argument for a smaller SIM is more down to the engineering (and therefore size) of the holder than purely the size of the SIM. I sort of see their point, when an entire SoC processor or memory chip is as small as the SIM and supporting mechanism. Every little helps!

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Coat

Re: Why?

Apple are keen to have no (hardware) SIM whatsoever, which has caused some consternation in the telco world. So they're achieving their goal by having ever shrinking physical SIMs with each release with some math bod telling them that with this approach, as t -> ∞ then the SIM will disappear completely.

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HMB
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Re: Why?

In a funny way, I agree. Apple never give you everything in one go.

I can imagine them deciding to go with a pico SIM at the iPhone 4 design, then realising they had to do it gradually so it feels like progress is being made. It will be a talking point. "Oooo it's got a smaller SIM, check us out".

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Gold badge

Re: Why?

The space a SIM and holder takes up inside a phone can be used for better things like slightly larger battery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

When Apple say they want to get rid of the SIM they are doing it to help the consumer and it puts them at odds with the networks who see it as a great way of locking handsets to their network.

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Re: Why? No!

No! The universal sim card is the consumer's bulwark against any lock-in shenanigans from the telcos and manufacturers. It is the basis of free movement between phones ans networks. If your contract is unfavourable, that's is a different matter.

Maybe Apple hates the way SIMs give power to the consumer but they must not be allowed to dilute it by spreading non-standard interfaces. That can be no engineering reason to change the SIM. Even full size sims are tiny compare to the size of today's smart phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why? No!

What lock-in shenanigans?

Most phones are already network-locked (at least over here in the UK), but *must* be unlockable if required by the owner. Obviously contracts must be honoured first/or paid-off.

How would this be different?

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JDX
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Why do we need yet smaller sims?

Why do we need ever smaller CPU/RAM chips?

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JDX
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@Jim 59

"Maybe Apple hates the way SIMs give power to the consumer but they must not be allowed to dilute it by spreading non-standard interfaces. That can be no engineering reason to change the SIM. Even full size sims are tiny compare to the size of today's smart phones."

It's not non-standard.

Have you seen how tiny modern phone components are? A SIM is probably 10% the size of the battery or the same size as a RAM chip.

In fact, a SIM takes up as much space as a micro-SD and you'd like one of those wouldn't you?

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Re: @Jim 59

Just got my first smartphone this week, an S3. It's colossal, and does not gain any significant internal space thorugh it usage of a mini-SIM. Honestly, I could put my sandwiches in there. Well, a full size SIM anyway.

The next Apple is likely to be even bigger, and yet will require an even smaller "micro" SIM - which, significantly, will not fit any of your other phones and cannot be chopped like a mini-SIM. Net result - you are pwned and millions of perfectly good phones to to landfill.

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@Jim 59

Before GSM no mobiles had SIM cards and CDMA phones have never had SIM cards.

The main advantage a SIM card offers these days is to allow you to swap your handset just by taking your SIM out of the old one and putting it into a new one, but there's no particular reason why the functionality couldn't be built in to the handset and set up by commands from the network when you join it. Then all you would need to do is log into the network in some fashion to have your phone number switched to your handset, exactly the same as you do with IP telephony.

Arguably this would be better for the consumer, you would no longer need to lock the handset to the network as the customer would be "locked" to the network for the duration of the contract. Theoretically they could then buy a PAYG service from a local provider when travelling and then just log onto the phone using that service - you wouldn't need to carry a dozen SIMs any more, you log into whatever network you need.

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Thumb Down

No chopping up your old SIM to fit this time!

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Anonymous Coward

Why? From what I understand the only thing that changes is the surrounding size of the plastic. It'll be a more delicate job I would imagine, but possible nonetheless.

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Anonymous Coward

Soon, all you will need is a scraping of your DNA as your phone number will be assigned to this.

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Anonymous Coward

I think I'll pass, thanks.

Not going to replace my stone age sim card, thanks. If that's the choice, I'll pass on the phone. Besides, the big idea was that you could just swap sims. Now with two three sizes, apple is busily trying to demolish that notion. I sincerely hope everyone else will ignore them. But of course that won't happen. *sigh*

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Re: I think I'll pass, thanks.

Last time I got a new phone, with the same operator, at the end of my contract when I renewed, they posted me a new SIM...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think I'll pass, thanks.

Yay, lets all stick with what we know everyone. 640k should be enough for anyone.

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Headmaster

Re: I think I'll pass, thanks.

"Not going to replace my stone age sim card, thanks"

Excellent, do let me know which phone you're currently using that accepts a full-size SIM. Y'know, the one the size of a credit card that first appeared in mobile phones and is still distributed by mobile providers?

Or are you referring to a mini-SIM (2FF) that you're currently using, that snapped out of the full-size SIM your operator sent you?

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Happy

Re: I think I'll pass, thanks.

I'm holding out for the yocto-sim

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Re: I think I'll pass, thanks.

At one point we were heading towards a point where sim cards would need to get smaller with the ever decreasing size of phones. But smaller sims in larger phones is just stupid. 2FF would have been fine for Iphone 4 and Galaxy S3.

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Anonymous Coward

I am so buying the iPhone5 the millisecond it comes out!!!

Cant wait!

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Anonymous Coward

Unsuprising that Apple are rushing out an iPhone5

As they have had their arse handed to them on a plate on many levels...

They had no choice to to rush some crap out for the Apple fanboys that are in the process of defecting to better Android devices.

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Re: Unsuprising that Apple are rushing out an iPhone5

Yes that's right, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that an update in the next few months would fit with an annual update.

Here's something else that might interest you... the Samsung Galaxy S4 will probably be announced in 10 months.

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JDX
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Re: Unsuprising that Apple are rushing out an iPhone5

The 4S was the "quick update". The 5 will be a bigger change just as the 4 was very different from the 3.

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Facepalm

Are they buying adapters too?

If the nano SIM plus adapter can replace the existing larger SIMs, then it may make sense to stop buying the larger devices, irrespective of when the next iPhone will appear.

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