Most of the time iPhone owners forget there's a SIM card inside their devices. But when it becomes necessary to switch SIM cards, such as while traveling, Apple has made it simple to access. Older devices, namely the original iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS have SIM cards located on the top. Every other iPhone's SIM card is placed on the right hand side of the device.
Next-generation iPhone rumors have been scarce and underwhelming this year. The possibility that Apple will release an all-plastic budget iPhone is not really interesting to those who already own an iDevice, and rumors about fingerprint technology isn't really turning many heads. The latest leak, two purported "iPhone 5S" nanoSIM trays posted by Cult of Mac, is not helping create any iPhone mania either.
It is hard to believe Apple would release gold and gray iPhone models. However, Cult of Mac points out that the iPhone 5 nanoSIM trays are silver and black to match the device's color. A gold iPhone would be pretty tacky, and no one is clamoring for a gray smartphone. There has been mention that Apple will offer the next-generation iPhone in an array of different colors like the iPod, but I don't think gold and gray is what people had in mind.
Shipments of nanoSIM cards have begun rolling out to T-Mobile stores this weekend. The nanoSIMs can be used with unlocked iPhones to access T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. T-Mobile has been working hard to convince iPhone users to switch carriers by promising bigger savings and unlimited data plans.
T-Mobile also began offering free iPhone support to its customers in June, and announced it was building a iPhone-compatible 4G network in May. Unlike the other big U.S. carriers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) T-Mobile does not officially carry the iPhone, however, it is estimated over one million T-Mobile subscribers use the Apple phone on T-Mobile's network.
T-Mobile has begun distributing nanoSIMs to retailers eight days before the purported Apple iPhone 5 event is supposed to take place. iFun (via 9to5Mac) posted an image of the Telekom (T-Mobile) nanoSIM being distributed to European retailers.
Apple's 40 percent smaller nanoSIM card design was approved by the European Telecommunications Institute (ETSI) in June. It was originally believed Apple would not use the smaller SIMs in the iPhone 5, but months later it was confirmed that European carriers were stocking up on cards in anticipation of the new iPhone's release. Meaning Apple's next-generation iPhone should be the first device to utilize the standard.
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.