Apple unveiled its iPhone 5, the thinnest, fastest and biggest iPhone to date, at an event on 12 September 2012. This new smartphone is sure to be a hit with Apple enthusiasts, but the device’s nano SIM requirement may be a challenge in South Africa.
Apple explained that the iPhone 5 is just 7.6 millimeters thin, and to make that happen the company’s engineers had to think small, component by component. “They created a nano-SIM card, which is 44 percent smaller than a micro-SIM,” Apple explained.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), an organisation which produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), announced that it has standardized the new nano SIM form factor in June.
“Today’s SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device. This space is more and more valuable in today’s handsets which deliver an ever increasing number of features,” said ETSI.
“The fourth form factor (4FF) card will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, at 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick.”
The new nano SIM design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards, it will simply be smaller.
Nano SIM cards in South Africa
According to media reports many international mobile operators, including Vodafone, are already stocking up on nano-SIMs to prepare for iPhone 5 sales.
However, in South Africa it is uncertain as to when local consumers will be able to get their hands on a nano SIM.
Vodacom said that they have no details about the nano SIM at this stage, but explained that they will let subscribers know as soon as they hear more about the issue.
Cell C said that they will definitely launch the nano SIM, adding that the timing and pricing will be confirmed once they have a clear indication of when South Africa will receive the iPhone 5.
8ta also said that it will introduce a Nano SIM when required. According to 8a the timing will be dependent on when devices requiring Nano SIMs become available in the South African market.
MTN said that it “will not respond to any iPhone 5 related media enquiries, if there is any development in this space, we will make an official announcement.”