Difference Between Micro SIM and Nano SIM

Micro SIM vs Nano SIM

We’ve always acknowledged that the smartphone market is evolving at a faster rate that is sometimes difficult to keep up with it. With recent developments in the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module), we tend to think that even SIM cards are evolving fast. There used to be this big regular sized SIM for almost a decade and more for some models. Truth to be told, the original SIM card which was known as 1FF was the size of a credit card; but people simply associate a regular SIM card as the second version which is known as Mini SIM or 2FF. Then it was developed to be the Micro SIM, which is essentially a cut down version of the regular SIM. The cropping was only in height and width, not thickness. While the regular SIM had the dimensions of 25 x 15 x 0.76 mm, the micro SIM was 15 x 12 x 0.76 mm. As you may have expected, Mini SIM was the most ubiquitous model while micro SIM had a life span of around three years. That doesn’t mean mini and micro SIMs are no longer used. Smartphone manufacturers still produce devices that are compatible with these SIM card types, but when it comes to the high end smartphones, it’s either micro SIM or the nano SIM.

The specialty about the nano SIM lies in the fact that it is not only 40% smaller than a micro SIM card, but it’s around 15% thinner having the dimensions of 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.67 mm. This trend of making the SIM card smaller and thinner can be associated with the manufacturers’ tenacity to make the smartphones smaller and thinner. If the SIM card takes less space, there will be more space to include more parts to differentiate the smartphone. Make no mistake, even slight dimension changes like this counts immensely on a small die like that on the smartphone. Micro SIMs were introduced with Apple iPad 3G, and because it didn’t have a thickness difference, users could simply cut the mini SIM accordingly to fit in to a smartphone device. However, when Apple iPhone 5 started to use nano SIM cards, the users weren’t so lucky with the thickness difference. You either had to cut down the mini / micro SIM and taper it or had to buy a new nano SIM altogether.

Micro SIM vs Nano SIM

• Micro SIM came in to regular use in mid-2010 while nano SIM came to use in early 2012.

• Micro SIM has the dimensions of 15 x 12 x 0.76 mm while nano SIM has the dimensions of 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.67 mm, which is 40% smaller and 15% thinner.

• Users can cut the Mini SIM to make a micro SIM easily although same can’t be said for nano SIMs.

One has to use the type of SIM that is available to them and the type of SIM their device supports. So check with your carrier on the types of SIM cards they support before you buy your smartphone and get the SIM card accordingly.