European Telcos Stocking Up on Nano SIM Cards for Next-Gen iPhone (Update)
*Update: We've reached out to the three telcos in Singapore on their stance on adopting nano SIM cards. Both SingTel and M1 have declined to comment while StarHub replied that it will carry nano SIM to meet customers' needs if they need to use it for a popular phone model.
European telcos are reported to be stocking up on millions of nano SIM cards in anticipation of the launch of Apple's next generation iPhone in September or October.
According to a report from Financial Times, European carriers do not want to be "caught off guard by the adoption" of the new SIM standard, a scenario which they faced two years ago when Apple introduced the use of micro SIM cards for the iPhone 4 and iPad in 2010. Quoting two sources with knowledge of the situation, Financial Times also stated in its report that telcos are expecting the new iPhone model to sport a slimmer design.
Financial Times - "Operators were caught off guard by the adoption of the micro Sim for the iPhone 4 as well as the original iPad two years ago, with some struggling to meet demand with their own micro-Sims in the first weeks of sale…. One informed person said that the major networks were keen to be ahead of demand this time, however. He added that the iPhone 5 was likely to be similar sized as the iPhone 4 although slimmer and with a fully metal body."
Earlier in March, Apple, Nokia and RIM filed competing proposals with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to adopt a new fourth form factor (4FF) card that is smaller than the current micro SIM design. Apple's nano SIM design was alleged to be chosen by ETSI in June as the new form factor matches up with the measurements of Apple's proposed design.
ETSI - "The fourth form factor (4FF) card will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, at 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick. It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs. The new design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards."
Although micro SIM cards were introduced two years ago, the adoption rate only picked up recently among phone vendors such as HTC and Nokia. If Apple introduces the nano SIM card in its next iPhone, we foresee consumers having multiple SIM card adaptors as they switch from one phone model to another.