Nano SIM vs Micro-SIM, differences, Uses and Compatibility

    Nano SIM vs Micro-SIM

    In today’s article, we’ll be looking at the Nano-SIM vs Micro-SIM. Our focus will be on their differences, uses and compatibility. For starters, there are three SIM card sizes; standard, nano and micro. Every phone in the world needs a SIM card and it could any of the three mentioned sizes. Smart-card maker Giesecke & Devrient from Munich, Germany is said to be the first company to develop a SIM card in 1991.

    What is a Standard SIM card?

    The word SIM means “subscriber identification module” For a Standard SIM card, it is the size of the first SIM card to be developed. It measures 15 x 25mm which is the ‘normal’ size of a SIM card before the micro and nano SIM cards came along.

    The standard SIM card is literally non-existent in the smartphone world, it still being used in other areas like Mi-Fi, Wi-Fi, Router, tablets, feature phone e.t.c. The most prominent phone to use the standard SIM card is the iPhone 3GS, with the next-generation iPhone 4 featuring the micro-SIM card.

    What is a Micro SIM card?

    A micro SIM card is the smaller version of the standard SIM card in terms of size. While the standard SIM card measures at 15 x 25mm, the micro SIM card comes in at 12 x 15mm. The micro SIM was introduced back in 2003, 12 years after the first standard SIM was developed. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of the best smartphones that features the micro SIM card. Sadly, the card isn’t widely in use anymore in the phone industry.

    What is a Nano SIM Card?

    The nano SIM card is the smallest of the trio when we compare them in sizes. It measures 8.8 x 12.3mm and was introduced in 2012, 9 years after the micro SIM card. Phone makers today unanimously prefer the nano SIM card cause of its small size and gives more space for other features. As long as you buy a new phone, it will feature the nano SIM card. It is hard to imagine the SIM card getting any smaller than this. This version has no border surrounding the chip anymore. Any move to create a smaller SIM card will affect the chip itself.

    Nano SIM vs Micro SIM – Differences

    Nano SIM vs Micro-SIM

    The only difference between the nano-SIM and micro SIM card is size. The chip is the same on both cards. You can easily buy a micro SIM card and have it cut down to a nano-SIM. We have listed their measurements in size above, so pay attention to that. Also, phones now support both Nano and Micro SIM card especially phones with dual or Hybrid SIM card.

    Nano SIM vs Micro SIM – Uses

    The micro SIM card was introduced in 2003 while the nano SIM card came in 2012. Most phones manufactured from 2012 till date uses the nano SIM card option. The iPhone 5 which debuted in September 2012 is the first Apple phone to feature the nano SIM card.

    Nano SIM vs Micro SIM – Compatibility

    Most network providers package their SIM in a Multi-SIM fashion i.e. it comes in the standard SIM size, which can easily be broken down to micro SIM and even down to nano SIM card. The option you choose will depend on the device you’re inserting the SIM card into. It is best to seek the help of the network provider, if you don’t know how to cut the SIM card to the size your device requires e.g standard to nano, standard to micro, and micro to nano.


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