The latest supposedly leaked iPhone 5 part is a tray for a nanoSIM card. We’re sceptical about the authenticity of the images, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that Apple will use an even tinier SIM in its next iPhone. Who cares? Well, it turns out a little SIM could be a big deal.
Apple designed the new nanoSIM and fought hard for its acceptance, so it’s a pretty safe bet that the tech will end up in the new iPhone. On the upside, the new SIM is 40 per cent smaller than its predecessor, which would allow the new iPhone’s design to be slimmer than before. Slimmer and smaller is a hard design decision to argue against, even if the majority of smartphones released by Apple’s competition are getting bigger every year. Even if you’re into big phones, a smaller SIM card means that Apple — and everyone else — can cram more of something else inside.
But new hardware always comes with drawbacks. The nanoSIM switch creates all sorts of compatibility problems. One of the great features of SIM technology is that it allows you to easily switch from one phone to the next. When the industry switched to microSIM, at least you could use a clunky adaptor to switch to older phones, but the new SIM design makes that a much more challenging problem than before. What’s more, if you’ve tried to use a microSIM with an adaptor in an iPhone 3G, you know the cards get stuck. And what about all of the people who buy iPhones on the secondary market? Switching a SIM card over isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a pain.
Sometimes Apple pushes infuriating new hardware, like the rumoured 19-pin dock connector, because it’s for your own good. SIM card technology is supposed to make our lives easier, and in the short term, the switch to nanoSIM will make things more complicated. While there’s no clear technological reason for a SIM to be smaller, the case for thinner devices is a strong one. [Nowhereelse.fr via 9To5Mac]