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New SIM Card Will Lead to Thinner Phones

A new SIM card, dubbed nano-SIM, will free up room in phones for additional memory and larger batteries, allowing manufacturers to create thinner devices, German card maker Giesecke & Devrient claimed.

At approximately 12 millimeters by 9 millimeters, the nano-SIM is around one-third smaller than the smallest card currently available -- called a micro-SIM -- and about 60% smaller than the traditional SIM card that is still used in most phones, Giesecke & Devrient said. The nano-SIM card is also about 15% thinner than current models, the company added.

The first phones to incorporate the new card will arrive next year, the company said. With adapters, the format will be backward-compatible.

Giesecke & Devrient has shipped samples to mobile network operators for testing.

Apple , which already uses a micro-SIM card, has been helping develop the new form factor. In May, Apple filed a proposal for a smaller card of its own design, and in early November, a patent application for a virtual card surfaced.

It's only a matter of time before virtual SIMs take over, according to Malik Saadi, an analyst at Inform Telecoms & Media.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Topic Center.


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