US Mobile SIM cards on top of open envelopes

SIM card innovation and its 3 new sizes

Have you ever wondered who and when brought the revolutionary and disruptive idea of SIM cards to market? This happened in 1991 when Munich smart-card maker Giesecke & Devrient developed and sold the first 300 SIM cards to Finish wireless network operator.

Term SIM stands for Subscribers Identity Module or Subscriber Identification Module. Every mobile networking company issues its SIM cards and every card contains its International Mobile Subscriber Identity Number (IMSI) so that if someone calls or texts you, they are connected to you rather than someone else. It also has some amount of memory where you can store some of your contacts and messages. Almost every phone has a slot either on its sides or the back where you can insert it. The slots can vary in size, thus the user has to get the card adjusted as per the size of their phone.

The microchip in it is of the same size in every card. It’s just the plastic base around the chip that varies. It comes in 3 sizes mainly, Standard/Mini, Micro, and Nano. In the article, we will learn more about their sizes.

Full size SIM card

You would have hardly come across a full-size SIM card. It was sized as a credit card. You can even say that it’s the most forgettable size. The dimensions of the card were 85.60mm × 53.98mm × 0.76mm (Length x Width x Thickness).

Standard/Mini SIM card

It is the size that is used by millions of cell phones. It was introduced in 1996 and it is  15 x 25mm. The microchip in it is of the same size as it is in the Micro and Nano size, it’s just only the extra plastic around the chip. Phones that were mainly launched in the past 5 to 6 years will not be able to fit the Mini size as they have micro or nano slots in them.

Micro SIM card

The micro size was introduced in 2003 with a size of 12 x 15mm. It’s one size down from the standard size. iPhone 4 was the first phone to use the micro size but now many phones use it. However, now many phones have moved to the Nano size.

Nano SIM card

It comes in 8.8 x 12.3mm size and it is the smallest size so far. It has no extra plastic around, yes it’s the chip only. The SIM cards size can now be further reduced only if the chip itself gets shrunk. Nano size was first introduced in 2012 and iPhone 5 was one of the early adopters of them. Now, if you are planning to buy a new cell phone, it’s most likely to go for the Nano size.

Now, you must be wondering why the SIM cards size has been reduced? It’s just a few millimeters though. In a compact device like a cell phone, even a few millimeters matter a lot. The few millimeter spaces can be utilized for other components such as larger battery sizes.

How to Reduce SIM card size?

If you’ve ordered a US Mobile Starter KIT, our SIM card comes already cut in 3 sizes. You can simply push the size out of the case that suits you.

SIM card innovation and its 3 new sizes

There are mainly 2 ways to cut the SIM card for your suitable match. One is Cutting it manually and the other is using a SIM card cutter.

Cutting Manually

You can use anything like a blade, scissors, or a knife to cut it. You have to be really careful when cutting the card manually because if you would damage the golden chip, it will be damaged permanently. Also, the cutting requires a lot of precision because losing or letting a single millimeter go in the cutting might lead to the size not fixing for your phone, and yes there is no way back then!

SIM card cutter

SIM card cutter comes with micro and Nano size in them. You can simply put the SIM card in the slot and then press the cutter from the top to get your desired size. There’s also a slight risk of damaging the chip, if you are not confident in cutting it, you can simply get in touch with your carrier and exchange the SIM card of your desired size.

Also, some phones require a thinner version of the Nano size, you can use sandpaper or file to reduce the thickness of the card.

Confident about SIMs now? We’ll slide you a SIM card starter kit for free just for reading to the bottom.