SIM, microSIM, nanoSIM, noSIM

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We are all familiar with the standard SIM card. A few of us have transited over to the microSIM card, which is smaller than the regular SIM. I crossed over to microSIM because of the Nokia N9, and my current smartphone, the HTC One X, uses the microSIM standard too.

SIM types
[L-R] Standard SIM, micro SIM, and nano SIM

This year, Apple iPhone 5 has hit the market as the first phone using the nanoSIM card, which is even smaller than the microSIM. The nanoSIM is not just smaller, it is also thinner than the microSIM, so it isn’t just a case of cutting your regular or micro SIM to be able to use it in a nanoSIM mobile.

The miniaturization of SIMs allows for more room inside mobile devices, such that manufacturers can put in bigger batteries or other required components.

From the standard SIM card, to microSIM, to nanoSIM, we see a progression of miniaturization of the SIM card. Ultimately, the SIM card might have to disappear entirely. I call it noSIM. The question is, How will this work?

I don’t know exactly how, but I am sure that technology will make it happen.


  1. well, smartphones that dont use any SIM have been around for years, on some CDMA networks. Maybe GSM phones will head in that direction

  2. I understand Apple once proposed the noSIM.

    This miniaturization drive is something else. it makes sense, though. reduced cost of materials, lighter weight..

    if the battery can be miniaturized without affecting capacity, wao! but then, on current battery tech, that would oppose the Laws Of Physics..

  3. Spacy,

    Yes, SIM-less phones exist on CDMA networks, but contribute to what makes them unappealing. To switch phones, you have to go through your network. The noSIM concept has to be implemented better such that the subscriber retains the liberty to switch phones without having to go through the network operator.

    Just imagine the kind of demonic queues one would run into at customer care centres if GSM noSIM is implemented the same way it currently is on CDMA networks. Chaos.

  4. I am sure the manufacturers will be Looking forward to other parts to reduce. The nano sim is just the begining.

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