As had been rumored and shown in leaked images, the iPhone 5 does indeed use the new Apple-backed nano-SIM standard that is 40% smaller than the micro-SIM standard found in the iPhone 4 and 4S. Apple did not mention the change during its media event, but the company has confirmed it in an iPhone model comparison.

iphone 5 nano sim
The iPhone 5 appears to be the first device to use the new nano-SIM standard, and carriers had reportedly begun stockpiling the new cards as long ago as July before starting to distribute them to retailers earlier this month in anticipation of the iPhone 5 introduction.

Top Rated Comments

Xenc Avatar
116 months ago
You cannot. The gold parts are significantly smaller. That's the main problem.

The contacts points are identical between the different form factors. The 4FF was designed to be backward compatible.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
116 months ago
You cannot. The gold parts are significantly smaller. That's the main problem.
This is false. The micro SIM and nano SIM contacts have the same placement.

One true difference is the thickness of the cards. The nano SIM (0.67mm thick) is 0.09mm thinner than the micro/mini/standard SIM (0.76mm thick). One could probably shave this off in a minute with some sandpaper or an emery board.

Due to manufacturing and contact tolerances, the thickness issue may not be all that important.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
116 months ago
Doesn't AT&T charge you for a new SIM card, though? Something like $5-10.

I've never been charged and I've done it at least 5 times.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenc Avatar
116 months ago
It looks like a regular or microsim CANNOT be cut down to this new nano sim size.

Also, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to use an adaptor with your new nano sim and use that inside a iPhone 4s or regular sim phone


This is really bad news for travellers.

And terrible for people who need to switch sims between devices

You can use an adaptor to change the profile of a nano SIM to its micro and regular counterparts.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
116 months ago
Will I be able to get a new nano sim card from my carrier (o2 uk) if I buy outright unlocked from Apple and I'm already in a contract?

Probably. AT&T does it without question for customers. The issue is getting in a store on launch day.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenc Avatar
116 months ago
Pretty much this.

Some manufacturers change the way the contacts look and it can be confusing for some.

Will the average Joe want to shave off that thickness though?

The average Joe can get a free replacement SIM card from their mobile provider or Apple :D
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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