Everyday in life we are surrounded by the eager looking eyes for the latest smartphones in the market promising to do more than you would ever use in your entire term of using the handset. As more communication channels are used and the new technological phones are not just old GSM phones who could only talk and text, how have more powers from accessing your emails, browsing the internet, watch movies, play online games, read books, download music, interact with social networks and many more requiring more battery life and hence the micro sim card alternative from the old SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards started to show a lot of advantages.
It is now time to make an uniform decision as to which size of the sim cards all the latest handsets should use, as we can see confused customers who does not have a clue how to use the micro sim card given with their smartphone as they have always been using the old format.
Apple when they launched the Apple iPad 3G (30 April 2010) & Apple iPhone 4 (24 June 2010) coined the term micro sim card incorporated into these devices, which is almost half the size of current sim cards in the market today. There are various reasons why Apple introduced the micro sim and in this article we will highlight some of the advantages of the micro sim card and what phones now uses it.
What Is A Micro SIM Card?
As we started to explain earlier that, micro SIM card is a smaller version of the normal SIM card that are found in millions of mobile phones around the world holding functions and micro-applications for the mobile phone to communicate with the network operators.
When SIM cards were first introduced it was the same size of a credit card (85.60mm × 53.98mm × 0.76mm) and now we can see the micro SIM card is the “third form factor” (3FF) of the standard SIM card (2FF) with a size of 12x15mm instead of the regular size of 15x25mm capable of holding the same telecom related applications and other applications such as payments, transit, etc.
SIM cards are of different types with different size of memory capacity (64KB, 128KB, 256KB, 500KB, 700KB, etc) and the first basic types are for 2G and the 3G networks, while others like RUIMs are for CDMA networks and UICCs are for 3G and LTE networks.
The need of 3FF or micro sim card came few years back when an urgent need of standardization by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI – organisation responsible to set the standards for SIM cards) when concerns raised from OEMs about 2FF SIM’s for smartphones as it was taking too much space reducing the battery size leaving with less battery life.
Advantages of Micro SIM Card?
With the advancing technology size of the smartphones are increasing from 4.3″ to 5.3″ in handsets such as HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Note making it hard for mobile phone manufacturers to provide with a larger battery life for smooth operation of the devices. Let’s list some of the advantages of having a micro sim card set for future smartphones to come:
1. According to Apple, they suggested that micro sim card will support more comprehensive phone book as well as greater security.
2. Reducing the plastic around the micro chip reduces the space of the SIM holder build into the phone giving more room for larger battery resulting in more battery life.
3. Traditional 2FF SIM cards address book supports name-number pairs only, but the USIM supports multiple phone numbers and information such as email address, notes, definable groups and many more attached to a single contact.
4. Having a standard 3FF/micro sim card size for all the future smartphones will reduce a lot of confusion among mobile phone users.
5. Micro SIM card works both on 2G and 3G network mobile phones but requires a micro sim adaptor while using in a non-micro sim based devices giving it an universal acceptable SIM card.
6. Allows multiple simultaneous application accessibility to the card using logical channels embedded in the micro sim cards.
7. Addition of PIN protection with hierarchical PIN management with application PIN and local PIN, which was not possible with 2FF SIM cards.
8. Mutual authentication by the micro sim card technology eliminates carrier spoofing thus increasing higher security from call hackers.
The only drawback of micro sim card is the incompatibility among mobile phones SIM holders as there are millions of phones which are not build keeping the micro sim card technology and hence moving the micro sim from one device to another could be troublesome. To make life simple, if you have a micro sim card, always have a micro sim adaptor with you at all times, so that you can access your SIM in any unlock phones with the help of it.
How To Cut Normal SIM Into A Micro SIM Card?
The golden part of the normal or traditional SIM card is the part we are looking for to insert into a micro sim card reader/holder inside the device. So to cut a normal SIM to a micro sim card, you would need a micro sim cutter and a micro sim adapter.
Almost of the major networks in UK provides a micro sim card with every smartphone that uses ones, but there are times when you want to use your own number in the new smartphone or you had an upgrade and are excited to use the phone, you need to cut your SIM into a micro sim.
It may sound very easy to cut a normal sim with scissors, but there are several factors you need to take into consideration before you cut your existing SIM as you have to look out for size, the corner cut and the golden circuit area intact and in shape within the cutting area. This step is not advisable, and the best option is to take your existing SIM to your network provider’s local branches and they will use the micro sim cutter to get the SIM cut to accurate size and shape.
What Phones Use Micro SIM Card?
As we already know that Apple called the 3FF SIM as micro-sim, Apple iPad 3G and Apple iPhone 4 were the two know devices to start using the micro sim cards soon after the first “Lok8u device” required to use the micro-sim to operate.
10 Micro SIM Card Devices:
1. Apple iPad 1/2/3 (the new iPad)
2. Apple iPhone 4/4S
3. Nokia Lumia 710
4. Nokia Lumia 800/900
5. HTC One X
6. HTC One S
7. Nokia N9
8. Motorola Droid Razr (Spyder)
9. Panasonic P-02D Lumix 3D
10. Sony Xperia S
So looking at the above lists it is pretty clear that almost all the top branded mobile manufacturers expect Samsung yet are all slowly building smartphones to use micro sim card making more space for bigger battery resulting in more talktime and usage time.