Operators gear up to provide Micro SIMs for Apple's iPad

During their press event on 27th January Apple announced that their tablet device, the iPad, would utilise micro SIM cards. Until now most operators and handset makers have opted to use mini-SIM cards which have become the 'standard' SIM card we know today. The micro SIM's chip is the same size and carries the same features as its bigger brother but is held by a piece of plastic no bigger than the chip itself.

The Register reports that O2, Orange and, presumably, AT&T are stocking up on micro SIMs which will allow the iPad access to 3G data networks. Apple's reason for deciding to use micro SIMs remains unclear but it should not come as a surprise given their propensity to use the smallest technology available which meets their requirements.

Consumers may be disappointed that they will be unable to use their existing SIM cards in the iPad, which lends weight to the suggestion that Apple's move is, in part, for the operator's benefit.

Micro SIM manufacturer Gemalto confirmed it is supplying products to O2 and Orange in the UK. Engadget also reports that the company is supplying micro SIMs to T-Mobile and AT&T.

The iPad will be released without 3G connectivity in March, with a 3G option available in April.

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Those people who just keep writing that the new micro SIM brings nothing new except a new form factor, please take the time to read all the comments before posting. At least two posts clearly explain the new features provided by the micro SIM.

einsteinbqat said,
Those people who just keep writing that the new micro SIM brings nothing new except a new form factor, please take the time to read all the comments before posting. At least two posts clearly explain the new features provided by the micro SIM.

That would ruin the bashing. I have never seen more bashing on a product before the iPad's announcement. And complaining about the SIM card of all things? That's just grasping for straws.

NeoTrunks said,

That would ruin the bashing. I have never seen more bashing on a product before the iPad's announcement. And complaining about the SIM card of all things? That's just grasping for straws.

Hmm ok firstly, you guys bash Microsoft for not supporting standards. But when apple does it, you guys are fine with it.

Secondly the original article says the following:

The micro SIM's chip is the same size and carries the same features as its bigger brother but is held by a piece of plastic no bigger than the chip itself.

It DOESN'T say anything about the new features of the micro-sim, so guess why people are thinking theres no difference but size?

Edited by -Razorfold, Feb 5 2010, 4:12pm :

/- Razorfold said,

Hmm ok firstly, you guys bash Microsoft for not supporting standards. But when apple does it, you guys are fine with it.

Secondly the original article says the following:


It DOESN'T say anything about the new features of the micro-sim, so guess why people are thinking theres no difference but size?

I don't bash Microsoft. I use Windows 7 daily.

Apparently, as others have stated, this is a standard, albeit not the status quo.

As for the new features of the micro sim, a quick search on the Internet would have provided the info.

You can't deny that anything Apple just gets bashed to death around here. That's all I was pointing out.

Edited by NeoTrunks, Feb 5 2010, 5:31pm : Grammar

/- Razorfold said,

Hmm ok firstly, you guys bash Microsoft for not supporting standards. But when apple does it, you guys are fine with it.

How is Apple not supporting a standard? MicroSIM is a standard. Much more so than Mini-Displayport was when it was launched.

Edited by Stetson, Feb 5 2010, 5:35pm :

Along with supporting the previous features of SIM cards for backwards compatibility, the micro-SIM specifications introduce new features that are not present in previous revisions of the SIM card. The new specifications:

* allow for multiple simultaneous applications accessing the card through logical channels;
* introduce mutual authentication as a way to eliminate carrier spoofing by allowing the SIM card to authenticate the cell tower to which it is connecting;
* add a new PIN protection with hierarchical PIN management with a universal PIN, an application PIN and a Local PIN; and
* expand the phonebook storage of the SIM card with entries for email, second name, and groups.

njlouch said,
Along with supporting the previous features of SIM cards for backwards compatibility, the micro-SIM specifications introduce new features that are not present in previous revisions of the SIM card. The new specifications:

* allow for multiple simultaneous applications accessing the card through logical channels;
* introduce mutual authentication as a way to eliminate carrier spoofing by allowing the SIM card to authenticate the cell tower to which it is connecting;
* add a new PIN protection with hierarchical PIN management with a universal PIN, an application PIN and a Local PIN; and
* expand the phonebook storage of the SIM card with entries for email, second name, and groups.

Ahhh at last someone made his homework instead of babbling rants, thanks njlouch!

njlouch said,
* expand the phonebook storage of the SIM card with entries for email, second name, and groups.
People actually store their information on the sim? Tho I guess with these options it might be more viable. I never used it because of how limited it is.

Hell the iPhone can only READ from a SIM. It can not write to it. ****ed me off when the AT&T person dumped my phone book from my old Motorola L7 to the sim and imported them into my iPhone. Had to put the sim back in my old phone when I got home to erase the info from the SIM because I did not want that info stored there.

MarkusDarkus said,
I thought Micro SIM's were Data only.. How are you going to implement this on the new iPhone VOIP??

I dont think they are data only, but remember that VOIP is a data based servcie not a voice based one so it would make no difference on IPad or IPhone VOIP services, though IF MicroSIM is data only it wont find its way onto iPhone as it would disable the regular phone and text portion of the iPhone

I bet they do this with the iPhone '4'. O2's iPhone Simplicity plans I am guessing will be "unavailable" on MicroSims, forcing you over to a nice new 18 month contract.

yes because god forbid Apple uses newer technology, best to stick to the older sims which will become defunct when the newer format become popular among operators and handset makers. It's not like apple are actually making the sims, these can be brought from your provider, the iPad is not even released, if your operator doesn't provide the smaller sim, they soon will do.

REM2000 said,
yes because god forbid Apple uses newer technology, best to stick to the older sims which will become defunct when the newer format become popular among operators and handset makers. It's not like apple are actually making the sims, these can be brought from your provider, the iPad is not even released, if your operator doesn't provide the smaller sim, they soon will do.

Theres nothing "new" about the microSIM:

The micro SIM's chip is the same size and carries the same features as its bigger brother but is held by a piece of plastic no bigger than the chip itself.

The only thing difference is theres just less plastic..saving you like 3-4mm.

REM2000 said,
yes because god forbid Apple uses newer technology, best to stick to the older sims which will become defunct when the newer format become popular among operators and handset makers. It's not like apple are actually making the sims, these can be brought from your provider, the iPad is not even released, if your operator doesn't provide the smaller sim, they soon will do.

Point is why ... why should they need to ... why can't just use a standard sim card whats so hard for apple to do that ? it's not new technology it's a long running industry standard design and implementation that does not need changing from apple or anyone no matter what the purpose, especially this rubbish device. When new technology evolves past sim cards let us know otherwise don't mess with the way they are. SIM cards are a pinnacle example of 'if it's not broken don't mess with it'.

Didn’t Microsoft have a helping hand in this???? I remember reading about them buying nonvoting shears???? Please clarify if incorrect!!

Does this mean that only AT&T will be able to provide service to the ipad, as they are the only ones issuing these types of simcard’s at the moment, this is actually a good way to beat the unlocking techniques used my jailbreaker’s hay!!

R6I6Z6A said,
Does this mean that only AT&T will be able to provide service to the ipad, as they are the only ones issuing these types of simcard’s at the moment, this is actually a good way to beat the unlocking techniques used my jailbreaker’s hay!!

Doesn't really matter since the 3G frequencies aren't compatible with T-Mobile anyway.

I find it insulting, the whole microSIM ordeal. As if the iPad wasn't big enough to hold a damn, regular, standard, world-wide used SIM card.

Thanks for forcefully with no reason adding non standard simcards your fail piece of junk device apple, really appreciate it bro. Dare to be different right ? They can take their uncommon non-industry standards on their fail device and gtfo.

Digitalx said,
Thanks for forcefully with no reason adding non standard simcards your fail piece of junk device apple, really appreciate it bro. Dare to be different right ? They can take their uncommon non-industry standards on their fail device and gtfo.

It's not that I agree with Apple's decision, but they do tend to use industry standards. Micro-SIM has been standardised for a long time now, and they published Mini DisplayPort as a standard. Uncommon, sure.

PureLegend said,

It's not that I agree with Apple's decision, but they do tend to use industry standards. Micro-SIM has been standardised for a long time now, and they published Mini DisplayPort as a standard. Uncommon, sure.

MicroSIM is the most retarded creation I have ever seen. It's like 3-4mm smaller than a regular sim card. And it does no more than a regular sim card.

For those of you saying they can fit in a larger batter, yeh ok..maybe you'll get 10 seconds out of this larger battery.

It was the same thing with the displayport. The mini-displayport is just a few mm smaller than the regular one. But instead its apple, so they give you a smaller thing so they can charge you 30-100 dollars for an adapter cable.

Edited by -Razorfold, Feb 5 2010, 8:56am :

/- Razorfold said,

MicroSIM is the most retarded creation I have ever seen. It's like 3-4mm smaller than a regular sim card. And it does no more than a regular sim card.

For those of you saying they can fit in a larger batter, yeh ok..maybe you'll get 10 seconds out of this larger battery.

It was the same thing with the displayport. The mini-displayport is just a few mm smaller than the regular one. But instead its apple, so they give you a smaller thing so they can charge you 30-100 dollars for an adapter cable.

Actually MicroSIM does do more than a regular sim card, from a user point of view extra field have been added to the sim card address book allowing you to now store last name and email address of your contacts on the card in addition to name and number, also the standard allows for grouping of contacts on the sim card, something that hasn't been supported as of yet.

In addition to the front end change on the back end the sim card now support multiple applications from the handset accessing it simultaneously along with an updated PIN architecture that now allows three distinct levels of pin security rather than just one.

So there are changes to how the card works that may not be blindingly obvious from day one, but once carriers start taking advantage of it there will be noticeable differences.

Apple says, "Jump", and everybody says, "How high?"

It's amazing how Apple has managed to pick itself up from near bankruptcy in the 1990s to being the massive force today it is in influencing the direction of other technology companies and popular culture. In the 21st century it seems that Steve Jobs is bigger than Jesus.

Steeley said,
Apple says, "Jump", and everybody says, "How high?"

It's amazing how Apple has managed to pick itself up from near bankruptcy in the 1990s to being the massive force today it is in influencing the direction of other technology companies and popular culture. In the 21st century it seems that Steve Jobs is bigger than Jesus.

Didn’t Microsoft have a helping hand in this???? I remember reading about them buying nonvoting shears???? Please clarify if incorrect!!

R6I6Z6A said,

Didn’t Microsoft have a helping hand in this???? I remember reading about them buying nonvoting shears???? Please clarify if incorrect!!

Nah, they bought shares instead. The shears didn't work out so well so they were sent to New Zealand.

R6I6Z6A said,

Didn’t Microsoft have a helping hand in this???? I remember reading about them buying nonvoting shears???? Please clarify if incorrect!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation#Impact

Billus said,

Nah, they bought shares instead. The shears didn't work out so well so they were sent to New Zealand.
LOL

AnthoWin said,
next. the iPhone 4.0 will move to micro SIMS only. great.

Actually, the iPhone makes more sense for this. Every bit of space saved on a packed device like the iPhone is a bit more battery or a bit larger camera sensor. The iPad doesn't really need the small size but Apple probably just wants to move to the latest standard.

Why is everyone acting like Apple just made this up out of thin air? It's the next standard form factor for SIM cards. If they had stuck with regular cards everyone would be complaining in a year or two that they were behind the times.

Stetson said,
Why is everyone acting like Apple just made this up out of thin air? It's the next standard form factor for SIM cards. If they had stuck with regular cards everyone would be complaining in a year or two that they were behind the times.

Right after Apple announced they were using micro sims, I had a look on the internet and couldn't find any information at all about micro sims.

Edited by BigCheese, Feb 6 2010, 7:12am :