Apple all the time come up with surprise. It’s of the main point that they are different from other gadget manufacturers. It’s true that they intentionally meet up all the customer requirements, but yet they are good enough to incorporate new ideas. iPad has also lots of surprises. Micro Sim is one of them.
Almost everyone knows about the term “Sim Card”. A SIM card is the little chip in a GSM cell phone that holds your subscriber information. While the news of Apple’s iPad having 3G wasn’t exactly a surprise, the move to a new format for the SIM certainly was. Sim card is a 15 x 25mm plastic card whereas the new Micro iPad SIM (also known as a 3FF SIM) is a diminutive 12 x 15mm, about 52% smaller. It’s not physically compatible with your current phone.
3FF SIMs were developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to fit into devices too small for a regular SIM to offer things like more storage space on-chip for provider applications, increased control and security functions.
“The 3FF is a size option that’s fully acceptable and supported by the industry,” said Jean-Louis Carrara, vice president of business development for telecommunications, at SIM card manufacturers Gemalto North America.
Today’s “regular” sim is actually the second SIM form factor, shrunken down from the SIM card’s original credit-card size, Carrara said.
Carrara said that Gemalto has already shipped 3FF SIM cards to “the U.S. operators,” though he declined to specify which carriers or for which devices.
“Gemalto makes it possible for all carriers worldwide to punch out a 3FF SIM … [Steve Jobs] mentioned publicly that the device will be available in 60 days. A lot can happen in 60 days,” Carrara said.
According to a press release from Lok8u Ltd., T-Mobile will begin to deploy 3FF SIM cards in Lok8u’s nu-m8 wristwatch-style personal locator devices later this year.
“T-Mobile continues to invest in the development, testing and introduction of new SIM card form factors, like the micro 3FF, to directly meet the needs of these applications and enable new M2M solutions that have been hindered by traditional SIM form factors,” John Horn, national director of M2M, T-Mobile USA said in a statement.
From AT&T’s perspective, this is better than a software lock in some ways — you’re not going to be able to download a hack that gets you on another network, so you’re totally at the mercy of your carrier at choice for providing a compatible card.