European Carriers Stockpiling Nano-SIMs Ahead of Expected Upcoming iPhone Launch


ufwa

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2011
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I highly doubt official carriers for the iphone would "stockpile" new sim card designs without word from Apple.

Apple retail stores at least would need the correct size sim cards in order to activate the phones. If not you'd have quite a few pissed off people who are signing up for a 2 year contract and have no way of using the phone.
 

captmatt

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2008
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Looks like the nano SIM basically just eliminated the plastic edges around the metal part, why didn't they do that to begin with?
It's only obvious now that Apple did it. No way in a million years would anyone else have come up with a similar design on their own. Good thing it's an open standard!:D
 

Indy21

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2008
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Yeah yeah yeah, but what's the name of the new iPhone gonna be is all that matters...

*flinching*

:)
 

cvaldes

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
3,237
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somewhere else
I highly doubt official carriers for the iphone would "stockpile" new sim card designs without word from Apple.
Well, that's apparently what they're doing.

The carriers got caught flat-footed by not having any micro-SIMs in stock when the iPhone 4 came out with the new card form factor.

In any case, it's not like the cards spoil or ferment. There will be more and more smartphones that use the new card size, even if there are no nano SIM handsets on the market today. The nano SIM won't be an iPhone exclusive. It's an industry standard, not a proprietary format.
 

striker33

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2010
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Can anyone explain why we actually have sim cards rather than some kind of internal chip? Would it not be easier to have a built in chip which just gets registered with whatever carrier you go with?
Because most countries outside the US arent dependant on ridiculously priced subsidised plans.

It also begs the question, why on earth would anyone want it embedded into the phone? It just makes it far more annoying when it comes to selling the phone, as many people do, when the newer version comes out a year later.
 

Crzyrio

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2010
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Because most countries outside the US arent dependant on ridiculously priced subsidised plans.

It also begs the question, why on earth would anyone want it embedded into the phone? It just makes it far more annoying when it comes to selling the phone, as many people do, when the newer version comes out a year later.
You misunderstood his post.

When people refer to a inbuilt chip, they aren't referring to the way CDMA phones work.

Instead the internal sim card will work similar to that of Wifi. Your phone will display the available signals in your area and you pick the one you have an account with. Up on selecting it you enter your details and volia your phone is now activated.

On Topic: Its smart on their part, they are going to need these sims eventually. Better to be safe than sorry.
 

clukas

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2010
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Thanks for all the replies to my question above. I didn't quote them to avoid creating a very long comment.
 

lilo777

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2009
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Looks like the nano SIM basically just eliminated the plastic edges around the metal part, why didn't they do that to begin with?
Because before phones were not as short on free space and for the phone owner larger SIM card is much more convenient than the new variety. It simply made no sense to have them that small before. It's still questionable whether the latest shrink was justifiable. It's probably OK for iPhone in USA. But I am sure that people in other countries who change their SIM cards frequently as well as the owners of the phones that have replaceable batteries and memory cards are less happy for now they have to deal with SIM cards that are uncomfortable to hold and handle.
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
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Connecticut
More proprietary stuff? This is Apple after all, so we shouldn't be surprised, but this is just getting too much to take.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
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Philly
well I hope this is going to fit the new iPhone. I'd hate to see another blunder like that of the case manufacturers last year.


Wait, yes I would.
 

Pukey

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2008
412
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Gekkostate
Will my tmobile $30 100 min sim work in here if I cut it?
I'm wondering the same thing. This is the phone plan I'm thinking about. Also, JayTruth, how do you like this plan? How does it work out with only 100 min? I was hoping to do most of my calls on Skype, but I hear it's not allowed in the US. Any thoughts?

Why is this stockpiling only being reported as a European phenomenon? #justcurious
I was wondering about this too. Are we just supposed to assume the same goes for the US or is this only affecting Europe?
 

sinfonye

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2010
121
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You misunderstood his post.

When people refer to a inbuilt chip, they aren't referring to the way CDMA phones work.

Instead the internal sim card will work similar to that of Wifi. Your phone will display the available signals in your area and you pick the one you have an account with. Up on selecting it you enter your details and volia your phone is now activated.

On Topic: Its smart on their part, they are going to need these sims eventually. Better to be safe than sorry.
I assume you're in the US? In Europe, you can pick up SIMs very cheaply and easily for many different carriers. I probably have about 20-30 different ones. I can change from a contract to a pre-pay account, from voice-only to data-only, from a UK account to a Dutch one, from a work account to a private one, or use my wife's account on my phone or vice-versa within a few seconds (handy when one of us runs out of battery, for example). It's hard to see how you could get that flexibility with a built-in chip.

There's also now the legacy issue. If I want to use all my existing accounts, I need SIM support. If a nano-SIM isn't compatible with a micro-SIM or standard SIM, then it's MUCH less useful to the average user. I'd happily pay some reduced battery life for backwards compatibility. This is one of the things (along with the rumours of a changed dock connector) that is making me wary of upgrading to an iPhone 5. I hope they keep both SIM and dock backwards compatible...
 

jmmo20

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2006
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Nano my arse. That's the biggest 1MB memory card in production.

1mb? I think sim cards are 256kb nowadays.. I remember back in the 90s when 32kb sim cards were wow..

----------

How about Apple supplies the SIM? Then, you just have to register it with the provider.
the problem with that is that providers want to keep strict control over the encryption keys used. If apple made the sims, they would add another layer where the encryption keys could be leaked. It's not gonna happen. Most of the systems inside the sim card are in place to keep the encryption keys secret and un-readable. Basically the sim is a mini computer that calculates a mathematic algorithm using the encryption keys. Knowing the variable, and since only the sim and the operator (on their end) know the real encryption key, the result of the algorithm is what is transmitted over the wireless signal.

That rules out software or emulated sim solutions.
 

CyBeRino

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2011
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What do you mean? iPad came with it, no problem. If you have a SIM, you can activate it with a carrier...
iPad comes with a SIM for the carrier you pick.

There's no such thing as a generic SIM card that can be registered to any random carrier. The SIM contains various codes that are needed to get the device on the network. It isn't just a computer-readable number to identify the subscriber.
 

Mad-B-One

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2011
789
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San Antonio, Texas
rpubs.com
iPad comes with a SIM for the carrier you pick.

There's no such thing as a generic SIM card that can be registered to any random carrier. The SIM contains various codes that are needed to get the device on the network. It isn't just a computer-readable number to identify the subscriber.
I see. Yea, should have read up on it. Nevertheless, the distribution still could go this way. It's mostly made in China anyways. This way, you also save costs because there are not 2 supply chains going to the customer but just one. For the ones who buy it at the Apple store, yes, I guess you would need them in the countires.
 

Nahaz

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2010
291
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Australia
I remember some people complaining of the micro SIM shorting out on the metal carrier that the iPhone used to hold the SIM. It would stop their iPhone from working.

Wouldn't this become more of an issue now with the nano SIM coming out?