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Apple Proposes Standard for Smaller SIM Cards to Make Even Thinner iPhones

Current micro-SIM (bottom right) punched out of a full-size SIM card (top right)

Reuters reports that Apple has submitted a proposal for a standardized SIM card design smaller than the micro-SIM currently used in the iPhone 4 and iPad, with the new design having apparently won the backing of French carrier Orange. The design would reportedly allow Apple and other companies adopting the card to design smaller and thinner devices.
"We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor -- smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad," said Anne Bouverot, Orange's head of mobile services.

"They have done that through the standardisation route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them," she told the Paris leg of the Reuters Global Technology Summit.
With finalization of the standard and technical issues still to be worked out, devices using the smaller SIM card could hit the market next year.

Apple made waves last year with reports that the company was seeking to deploy embedded SIM cards, a step that would remove some of the power of carriers over phone distribution. While the GSM Association and some carriers expressed interest in the idea, threats from other carriers to withhold iPhone subsidies reportedly resulted in Apple backing away from the technology for the time being.

It is unclear whether the newly-proposed standard is related to the embedded SIM technology discussed last year, but it appears to more likely simply be a smaller evolution of the removable SIM cards in use today.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPad Air

Top Rated Comments

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38 months ago
stop using the 30-pins, save space
Rating: 12 Positives
38 months ago

Piss off Apple! Leave the bloody SIM cards alone, it's not yet another standard you need to change and force everyone else to change to. The industry has been more then happy with the current design for several years before and since you entered the mobile phone business...


wow i'm so glad that the world of innovation and positive change does not hinge on you, otherwise we'd still be using quill pens to write letters and get pigeons to deliver them to the farmer next to us.
Rating: 9 Positives
38 months ago
Piss off Apple! Leave the bloody SIM cards alone, it's not yet another standard you need to change and force everyone else to change to. The industry has been more then happy with the current design for several years before and since you entered the mobile phone business...
Rating: 9 Positives
38 months ago

Piss off Apple! Leave the bloody SIM cards alone, it's not yet another standard you need to change and force everyone else to change to. The industry has been more then happy with the current design for several years before and since you entered the mobile phone business...


Yeah but look at the difference between phone before apple and after apple joined the phone business.

The iPhone was the first real smart phone. This led to Android being developed. I guarantee you that if it wasn't for the iPhone, the Android would be similar to blackberry's

Apple wants to take their phone to the next level and in order to do this they need a smaller sim. Let them shows us what they have before making a judgement. They arent forcing it on you, your welcome to stick with whatever phone you have now.
Rating: 9 Positives
38 months ago


The iPhone was the first real smart phone. This led to Android being developed. I guarantee you that if it wasn't for the iPhone, the Android would be similar to blackberry's


Whoa, let's not state this as a fact or anything. Since the iPhone was not the first real smartphone. When it was first released it didn't even have the ability to load custom applications into the phone.

Give credit where credit is due mate; the IBM Simon came out in 1994 and had a significant amount of functionality that would later be seen in smartphones like the Handspring Treo and RIM's Blackberry line (circa 2002).

Once could argue that the iPhone was the first smartphone to be adopted by the average consumer en masse. It also defined a new form factor that now appears to be the gold standard for many of today's smartphones.
Rating: 7 Positives
38 months ago

wow i'm so glad that the world of innovation and positive change does not hinge on you, otherwise we'd still be using quill pens to write letters and get pigeons to deliver them to the farmer next to us.


What a doorknob...


Yeah but look at the difference between phone before apple and after apple joined the phone business.

The iPhone was the first real smart phone. This led to Android being developed. I guarantee you that if it wasn't for the iPhone, the Android would be similar to blackberry's

Apple wants to take their phone to the next level and in order to do this they need a smaller sim. Let them shows us what they have before making a judgement. They arent forcing it on you, your welcome to stick with whatever phone you have now.


God you lot are an overly sensitive bunch! Come on then, I want you all to tell me just why we MUST follow Apple and adopt yet ANOTHER Sim card standard nobody wants apart from Apple??

Come on, I'm waiting....

And don't anyone DARE say so we can have thinner smart phones as that's utter BS cause phones are thin enough, plenty out there that are even thinner then the iPhone 4 and they all use the same style of SIM the world has happily been using for many many many years.

Oh and FYI, Apple only brought a revolution in it's interface to phones, not design.
Rating: 6 Positives
38 months ago
The one in it at the moment is small enough surely? I appreciate that a smaller one will allow for a part to increase in size, battery maybe, but what about the end consumer who has to put the thing in the phone?

Micro SIM is out, Nano SIM in.
Rating: 6 Positives
38 months ago



I put my sim card in my phone once. What size it is is of little concern to me.

Smaller sims wouldn't bother me in the slightest.


if you ever use a sim to jump between phones then yes a smaller size will get to you.
As it stands Apple is the only company that uses micro Sims. Going from standard to microSim really nets the phones nothing is why no one else jumped ship. Hell I am willing to bet Apple went microsim to make it even harder to leave Apple products.

Going thinner means weaker sim cards that break easier when trying to switch between phones.
Rating: 6 Positives
38 months ago
I am trying to figure out why Apple wants to go even thinner. At a certain point phones are just WAY WAY to thin.
Rating: 6 Positives
38 months ago

Its not an assumption, that's what i got out of the post i read about people's opinions on soft sim card's . If you have an opinion against it, state it so i better understand why.


We're talking about Apple here. The company that:

a) Forces you to gain permission to use a device you've paid for (i.e. activate it) using their servers every time you restore it. If Apple's servers don't work (or they close them down) you can't use your device.
b) Requires you to download an entire 650MB+ file to update the smallest of things - USING A COMPUTER! when other manufacturers have had OTA and small updates for years
c) Requires you to sync with iTunes (I'm not even going to write about how bad iTunes is) to do the tinest of things like adding a ringtone to your phone, when other devices can do it without a computer at all
d) Plays to every whim of the carriers (particularly AT&T), restricting how people use their devices

I don't expect a "soft SIM" approach implemented by Apple to be of any benefit to consumers. The above four things benefit Carriers but not users. I expect(ed) Apple's "Soft SIM" approach to be no different.

I can't perceive how a "Soft SIM" approach implemented even by a saint would be of any benefit to consumers. It simply wouldn't offer them any more flexibility than they already have and it would take conveniences away from them.
Rating: 6 Positives

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