There are three basic sizes of SIM cards: standard, micro, and nano.
Of the three, the Standard is the first and largest SIM. Today, these are widely used in older phones.
Micro SIM card is a standard SIM card with extra plastic around the cut-out circuit board.
A cut version of Micro, Nano is much smaller and is used on modern iPhones. Although the minuscule is compared to previous versions, the Nano still holds the same amount of data as the previous SIM cards.
When you check the SIM card appearance, you may notice that it is getting smaller. But before the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010, we only had one SIM card size. Launched in 1996, it was the standard used on all phones and made GSM people happy. In fact, it was your whole phone on the card. It made things easier. If you were looking for a new phone, all you had to do was remove that SIM, plug it into any phone and suddenly your phone number would be transferred to a new device. For more than a decade, this has been the norm, making switching phones hotter. Now? Not so much.
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Install Apple. Wanting to save valuable room for its new generation of smartphones, Apple moved from the use of the standard Mini-SIM to the Micro-SIM when the iPhone 4 hit the shelves.
Surprisingly, Micro-SIM was not the new bright SIM designed for the latest iPhone. Believe it or not, it was first introduced in 2003.
At the time, its purpose was clear: if the device was too small to fit a mini-SIM, you would have to use a micro-SIM. In addition, the micro-SIM is built-in back-up, which means it can work with inputs produced by an older version of the SIM (such as a Mini-SIM).
Moreover, despite its small size, the performance of the micro was not affected at all, as the contact area of the chip remained the same. It turned out to have been dropped – the card only needed its excess plastic to be cut into it.
While Apple released the iPhone 4 with a micro-SIM, it became the standard for most smartphones. Samsung, Nokia, and HTC are just a few manufacturers that have adopted the new Micro-SIM. During this time, several upgrades to the iPhone 4 have chosen to use the adapter so that their SIM cards are downloaded to Micro’s, too. Watch a video of this working.
If you thought Apple was made with small SIM cards, think again. Maybe Apple was worried that he should use a SIM card from 2003 on the shiny new iPhone 4. Maybe they wanted to stay ahead of the curve and abandon their rivals.
In any case, the launch of the iPhone 5 has made the public aware that there is a new SIM in town: the Nano-SIM. This preference to be small has made life difficult for users. Anyone upgrading to iPhone 5 or switching to Android now had to get a new SIM card or adapter.
Fortunately, many smartphones released since 2014 (both iOS and Android) now support Nano SIM card technology as a standard. However, it is sad to see a small card take over, as it has always been much easier to switch phones with Standard SIM compared to Nano.
eSIM and Soft SIM
Now, where does the SIM card go next? If we look at the process, it will probably be as big as a speck of dust, so empty that you will never feel it in your hand. Linksys
No. I’m kidding, that would be bad. But find out: the next version of SIM will probably not be able to hold it. That’s because it’s going to be completely virtual.
Cards like eSIM and Soft SIM look like the next SIM card carnation we will see, a software “card” that carries all the original SIM functions except any plastic or hardware bits.
One nice feature of this new SIM class is that subscribers can easily switch operators, without having to exchange a virtual SIM card. Considering the possibility of this transfer, perhaps the software-based cards are the answer when it comes to the problems that come with switching phones over the years.
But despite its comfort, eSIM and soft SIM have their fair share of opponents. Another potential danger posed by networks regarding these SIMs is a security issue. With burglary becoming more common, it is likely to quickly lock all subscriber credentials and data into their device’s OS without building better cyber protection against them.
It is interesting that as eSIM and Soft SIM are continuously upgraded, the risk will be resolved until this SIM version has enabled the virtual SIM, making it inactive. Somehow, it is surprising that the SIM is only in this digital age right now. As a product of the 1990’s, it is surprising to consider the emergence of a SIM card, especially in comparison with how other technologies of the era changed and died as new solutions were developed. As a link between the subscriber’s phone data and their network, the purpose of the SIM card remains clear – but it will be interesting to see what another twenty years do for the future of this purpose and the SIM card itself.