Micro Sim...I don't get it

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rotobadger, May 18, 2012.

  1. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #1
    Sorry if this has been discussed (did a quick look for a thread) but can someone tell me why there's a push to go to and even smaller sim card? Why do we need a micro sim? To save space? I mean, how small does it have to be for pete's sake??
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    If it can be smaller, it makes room for something else.
     
  3. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #3
    Apple's proposed nano SIM design kind of defeats the purpose since it will require a tray, which will put it back in the micro SIM size.

    I prefer the compromise design Moto and RIM came up with that allows for a push/push lock notch on one side so a tray is not needed.

    [​IMG]



    Here's Apple's design.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #4
    The SIM-card and its supporting hardware is currently one of the largest single components of a phone, excepting the screen and the battery. So any space saved there can be put to use in making the phone smaller.
     
  5. djrod macrumors 65816

    djrod

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Madrid - Spain
    #5
    The current microSIM is as big as the CPU that powers the iPhone, so yes, it's pretty big.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    Just drop the SIM card already and go with a software based SIMs. This is what Apple wanted to do in the first place and it got poo-poo'd by loads of people.

    I can understand folks wanting physical SIM cards so they can pop in/out the prepaid cards. I'm sure that functionality could be retained with the softSIM.

    The only other reason for a physical SIM would be to store phone numbers on the SIM card itself. But does anyone do that on smartphones anymore?
     
  7. bandofbrothers macrumors 601

    bandofbrothers

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Uk
    #7
    Some find it difficult to cope with change.

    In the Uk the market for second hand phones is strong with buyers wanting to use it on their own chosen network. If sim cards were dropped then the phones would either have to be easy to open to all networks or all by default be unlocked which the networks I suspect would not support as they need the user to use their services to recoup any subsidy levied in the phone when the contract was opened.
     
  8. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Not a good idea...Look what Verizon did when they had that power with CDMA phones? Thankfully that's slowly changing now with LTE, and SIM cards. Take your Sprint phone and try to get it on VZW even though it is COMPLETELY compatible. At least a GSM phone still has the ability of being unlocked, but when the carrier is in control, they can outright reject it, and you can do NOTHING about it.

    ----

    Apple's design is best, as it allows for backward compatibility.
     
  9. nephron8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #9
    I never knew that current sim is as big as a5.
    I honestly feel its all
    Plastic and it needs to be cut in size. I am all for nano sim
     
  10. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #10
    Time to put this into context.

    The first sims were credit card sized, the next size was the microsim, still popular today and was used in the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Then there is the microsim, as used in the iPad, iPhone 4/4S and the Nokia Lumia series.

    All of them are pin compatible. You can take a microsim, and place it in an adaptor and put it in a phone that can read a full (credit card) sized sim.

    Apple's design retains pin compatibility, Moto and RIM's design doesn't. The big debate is whether to move away from pin compatibility, potentially limiting the number of phones that can use it.
     
  11. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #11
    Because it's a really, really bad idea.


    Indeed few people do that anymore and most smartphones don't even support it I think, but that is not why SIM cards need to be retained. They need to be retained because it puts the power in the customer's hand. If he buys a phone and sticks a SIM in, the phone will connect to the network and that is the end of it. If the SIM is based in the phone, then one needs cooperation from the carriers to be able to switch networks. Either because the carrier you're with has to release the phone, or because the carrier you want to switch to needs to give you data or otherwise 'enable' your phone.
     
  12. TrimmTrabb, May 19, 2012
    Last edited: May 19, 2012

    TrimmTrabb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #12
    SIM card phones can, and are, SIM-locked by some carriers - effectively imposing the same level of control as cardless, CDMA phones.

    I think you've got this a bit backwards. It is the carriers who opposed Apple's attempts to get rid of the SIM. This is because the carriers want to retain the primary relationship with the customer, rather than giving it to Apple. Apple, which keeps complete control over the device and its software, wanted to become the interface point for customers to sign up to or switch mobile providers. The benefits for Apple would be three-fold:

    - More leverage over the carriers
    - The ability to tightly control and improve the user experience for customers.
    - Better hardware

    I don't know about you, but I'd rather have Apple managing the process for me than dealing with my carrier directly. I don't know anyone who likes dealing with their carrier. Imagine if, rather than having to go into a store or mail order a piece of plastic, you could do everything through your iPhone's Settings app.

    However, one possible loss of customer control may have been the ability to use unofficial carriers.
     
  13. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #13
    What I think people miss here is having a physical sim card adds a layer of security.

    Am I fussed either way? No not really.
     
  14. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #14
    Yes, but in the end this is the consumer's choice: they choose to go with a cheaper subsidised phone. In return it may be locked. (Note: in most countries phones on contract are actually not locked because you have the contract anyway. The US of course is different.) The other choice, which is the one I make, is to go with the more expensive, non-carrier-locked phone.

    Miraculously, indeed the carriers objected to this as much as the general public. We'll never know their true motivations, but it's certainly possible that the carriers foresee Apple having too big a role in their sales process.

    In any case, I want to be in control. Not Apple, not the carrier. It's my money I'm spending here, so I should be behind the weel.

    Also, you will always have to deal with a carrier if you're a subscriber. Apple may make an interface in their settings app to subscribe to a carrier, but what if you want to switch carriers when you go on vacation? I believe you're American, so that may not be a big deal to you because whichever way you go, there's AT&T, but it is to us Europeans.

    And therein lies the problem. With this scheme, no matter how it's executed, consumer choice is limited. And switching carriers temporarily becomes a giant hassle.
     
  15. TrimmTrabb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #15
    Nope, I'm not American. I'm actually very much in your boat. I always buy an unsubsidised phone because I don't want to be beholden to a contract, and I'm also on an unofficial carrier on a prepaid plan. So I think we're in agreement on that front.

    I think the way Apple looks at it, is that they just want to sell you a phone directly, and have it just work for you with the least amount of friction, and not have your purchase experience get mucked up by all of these external factors they cannot control. And they want to make a better phone. For a device that's used by every segment of the population, my guess is they believe a tiny, fiddly chip and tray mechanism is a horribly inelegant customer experience.

    You and me, I don't think we're the common case. Most people walk into a retail store and buy a phone tied to a carrier. We both know what we're doing, and appreciate more control, but like with the App Store, my impression is that Apple wouldn't care about trampling over our choice and freedom here to do things its way. I'm not saying I'd personally like it, but I understand Apple's motivations, assuming my analysis is correct. :)
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #16
    The reason it gets poo-poo is because that kills off what makes sim cards so great. That is being able to easily hope between phones with out having to do anything extra.

    If I have to call in and spend more than 30 seconds switching phones something is wrong.

    Right now wiht sim the switch time is under 30 sec.
     
  17. SMIDG3T Suspended

    SMIDG3T

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    Apr 29, 2012
    Location:
    England
    #17
    It's simple. It saves room within the phone for other components.
     
  18. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #18
    Couldn't a softSIM work like this as well? Instead of swapping out the cards physically, you would take a picture of the barcode that comes with the softSIM package. Then it would automatically switch from one softSIM to another.

    Is this even possible? I'm guessing that it could be done.
     
  19. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #19
    Yes but it allows for the blockage of 'non official carriers'...which is a problem in many countries.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #20
    First the carriers have to allow it.

    2nd that requires more work and I have to wait and hope the carrier back end is up and running to make the switch. It can take up to 15 min for it to get push threw. Compared that to the sim where it is put the sim into the phone and turn it on. It is now working nothing else required.
     
  21. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #21
    So far as I know, it couldn't be done this simply. The SIM serves more purpose than just telling the phone to connect to the network and to store contacts. It's also an integral part of authenticating you (as the subscriber and owner of a certain phone number) to the network. Putting all the essential (and secret) information for this on an easily readable bar-code would severely cripple the security of this system which, for a large part, is based on not being able to get certain information from the SIM.

    Compare this with credit card chips: you can't ask a chip "What is the PIN code of this card" and then attempt to compare that to a number punched in by the user. Instead, you tell it "the user gave me 1357, is that correct?" and the chip will answer yes or no. (And do a bunch of other things, this is highly simplified).

    The same concept holds for a SIM card, which is exactly the same thing but with most of the plastic cut away. Besides being a unique number (which btw the bar-code scheme would also mess with), it actually authenticates the phone to the network securely.


    Apologies. This forum doesn't tell me, so I had to guess.

    I think you're right about this being how Apple sees this. Unfortunately, their idea had downsides that were too important to ignore.

    By the way, our case is more common than you'd think. And especially the swapping of SIMs is done incredibly often. Besides the obvious going outside of one's own country for a while and wanting data on one's phone, there are large amounts of people who aren't originally from whatever country you're in and keep multiple SIMs around because different carriers offer better rates to the various countries or even networks that they have contacts in.
     

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