Apple has reportedly started shipping its new “nano SIM” cards to retailers ahead of the expected launch of the iPhone 5
Apple has reportedly started shipping its new “nano SIM” cards to retailers ahead of the expected launch of the iPhone 5 next week.
The Cupertino, California, company won a victory over rival firms earlier in the year when its proposed new SIM card standard was adopted by regulators.
According to iFun.de (via SlashGear), the smaller SIM card has now been spotted at a T-Mobile retailer in Germany, accompanied by a letter heralding “the latest generation of smartphones” coming “in the near future”.
Yesterday, Apple issued invites for a product launch event to be held in the US on September 12, at which the firm is expected to unveil the latest version of its iPhone.
Whilst the translated letter from T-Mobile makes no reference to the iPhone, the timing has led to speculation that Apple’s new smartphone will be the first nano-SIM handset.
“Dear partners: You will receive today a new generation of SIM cards for the latest generation of smartphones that come in the near future on the market,” the letter reads.
It warns the retailers not to give out the new cards to customers, but instead wait to be informed about “how to proceed”.
In June, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which sets technology standards across Europe, chose Apple’s nano-SIM design over rival proposals from Research In Motion, Nokia and Google’s Motorola.
Apple had already gained support from various major mobile carriers for its super-slim technology, known as the “fourth form factor (4FF) card”, which is 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design.
Larger SIM designs take up valuable space inside mobile devices, but Apple’s technology is just 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick, whilst still offering all the same functionality as current SIM cards.
ETSI said earlier in the year that the nano-SIM can be “packaged and distributed” in a way that means it is “backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs”.