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ETSI ratifies new nano-SIM standard - 40 percent smaller than micro-SIM

News by Dan Seifert on Friday June 01, 2012.

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ETSI, a telecommunication standards organization, has announced that the standard for the new nano-SIM card was ratified in Japan today. The new nano-SIM card is forty percent smaller than the micro-SIM card seen in a number of smartphones and tablets today, and will be used by device manufacturers and carriers across the world.

The proposal for the nano-SIM card has had quite a bit of drama surrounding it, with companies like Nokia, Apple, RIM, and Motorola all submitting competing designs for the new card. Nokia, RIM, and Motorola all felt their designs were superior because they did not require a tray to hold the card in place, while Apple contended that its design was backwards compatible with the existing micro-SIM standard through the use of adapters. A revised version of the design proposed by RIM, Motorola, and Nokia offered better backwards compatibility and included a notch to secure the card in place, not unlike how a microSD card is held in its slot.

It is not exactly clear which design ended up winning in the end, but ETSI says that the nano-SIM (also known as the fourth form factor, or 4FF) measures a scant 12.3mm x 8.8mm x 0.67mm and can be "packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs." The nano-SIM offers all of the same functionality as the older, larger SIM card designs.

The new card design should allow manufacturers to produce slimmer and smaller phones, but it may be a while before the nano-SIM sees a wide adoption among manufacturers and carriers. The outgoing micro-SIM has only recently begun to be used by most manufacturers, with Apple being the first major device maker to adopt it back in 2010 with the iPhone 4.

source: ETSI

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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