Orange introduces mini-SIM
Exactly the same size as a normal SIM
Orange claims to be the first European operator to introduce mini SIM cards, though it's actually talking about the thing that holds the SIM rather than the SIM itself.
Touting the development as an environmental step Orange points out that 11,600 tonnes of SIM are shipped each year, 90 per cent of which is unused plastic that's thrown away by the recipient. Orange's new SIM won't reduce that hugely, they are just planning to put two SIMs into each card rather than one, but any reduction in packaging is to be applauded.
Less packaging than the average SIM, same size though
Of course, it's not just habit that put SIM cards into credit-card-sized plastic holders - some of the early GSM handsets needed the whole card to hold the SIM in place. The SIM standard was derived from ISO7816, which defines full-sized cards, though it's been a while since we've seen a handset equipped to take anything larger than a standard (GSM11.11) SIM.
There has been talk of reducing the size of SIMs further, ideally by cutting away the wasted two thirds of surface area that surrounds even a normal SIM (the electronics are glued to the back of the contacts, the surrounding plastic is just there to give fingers somewhere to grip). But since phones started getting bigger screens those calls have largely diminished.
Which is all to the good - the SIM is a terrific standard and shouldn't be mucked about with, so we're glad to hear that Orange's mini SIM is nothing of the sort. ®
erm.. here's a boring anecdote..
All three of my Orange 'phones didn't have the offending plastic card nonsense (even the one I put in the wash still works fine). The 10 year old brick phone worked fine too, just the fact that it couldn't hold it's charge forced me to upgrade. Now all the nonsense I said I wouldn't bother with (camera, internet etc etc) causes me not to use it for calls, defeting the whole purpose of the damned thing. There's also the irony of the Sims game where they all speak in garbled tones (they do it without GSM though)....
Like Kevin Johnston, I have a ten year old cellphone that requires the full credit card size SIM, and I can't upgrade it because it is integrated into my Jaguar XJ Sport V8. The sound goes through the entertainment console, the microphone is in the mirror, it uses the buttons and display on the entertainment console and even has controls on the steering wheel. Plus an antenna on the roof. Just too convenient to ditch. I managed to replace the handset for a tenner on eBay when the old one got tatty, but batteries are no longer available, so it only works when the ignition is on.
It is no problem fitting a SIM back into the credit card surround (of which I have kept several spares). You just put a piece of cellotape across the back.
Vigin mobile US phone lack sims
as they run on sprint network.
Boost , metro PCS two others.
"So, at the moment I've got 4 SIMs in regular use, 3 which I use a few times during the year and a few others that I have which I didn't need but had to get anyway!"
Something is tickling my memory - I seem to remember a SIM kit which allowed the copying *and stacking* of SIM information on a single multi-purpose SIM. <looks at his phone> Which would explain why my phone has a "pick your provider" option in its system menu.
And AC@17:03 is quite correct - while phones *may* be locked to a specific provider (a hateful practice as far as I'm concerned - I'm looking at you, Apple) and SIMs may also be locked, at least down here in Oz I have successfully transferred my SIM from phone to phone. I admit I always buy my phones outright and re-flash them to the manufacturer's default firmware (instead of the crippled crap offered by most TelCos) but swapping SIMs even with a friend's phone ('cause mine had run out of power) did not seem to make a bit of difference.
Neither Verizon nor Sprint use SIM's
The CDMA standard does have a similar card to the SIM called the R-UIM. Though it is not in use by US CDMA carriers. I having even cracked my phone open looking to see if its just internal but nay. Everything is hardcoded into the phone hence negating the need for said R-UIM. Though it would be nice for when I get a new phone and what not