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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