A new SIM card, dubbed nano-SIM, will free up room in phones for additional memory and larger batteries, allowing manufacturers to create thinner devices, German card maker Giesecke & Devrient claimed.
At approximately 12 millimeters by 9 millimeters, the nano-SIM is around one-third smaller than the smallest card currently available -- called a micro-SIM -- and about 60% smaller than the traditional SIM card that is still used in most phones, Giesecke & Devrient said. The nano-SIM card is also about 15% thinner than current models, the company added.
The first phones to incorporate the new card will arrive next year, the company said. With adapters, the format will be backward-compatible.
Giesecke & Devrient has shipped samples to mobile network operators for testing.
Apple , which already uses a micro-SIM card, has been helping develop the new form factor. In May, Apple filed a proposal for a smaller card of its own design, and in early November, a patent application for a virtual card surfaced.
It's only a matter of time before virtual SIMs take over, according to Malik Saadi, an analyst at Inform Telecoms & Media.
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.
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