Now that Apple's nano-SIM card standard has been approved by the European Telecommunications Institute (ETSI), reports are coming in that European carriers are stocking up on the cards. The reason? Apple's next generation iPhone will utilize the smaller SIM. So much for those larger iPhone 5 SIM trays that purportedly leaked out to parts sellers in Asia.
Apple's nano-SIM card design is pictured above from The Verge, inside the outline of a standard SIM card. By shaving 40 percent of the size from the SIM card, Apple can free up space for other things in the device. BGR confirms from multiple sources that Apple is supplying carriers with nano-SIM adapters so they can test the cards on their networks.
Not only have multiple carriers received the adapters, but major US carrier AT&T is on the list. The new design is backward compatible with existing SIM cards, and also requires a SIM card tray. This means that nano-SIM cards can be used in older devices with adapters like the ones Apple has sent to carriers for testing. The approved nano-SIM design comes in at 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.67mm.
Competitors to Apple including Motorola and RIM initially submitted their own fourth form factor (4FF) SIM card designs to ETSI. Unlike Apple's, the other designs had added functionality and did not require the use of a SIM card tray. When the iPhone 5 launches later this year, look for the nano-SIM to make its appearance in a slimmer, taller form factor device.