Feeds

iPad forces operators to shave their SIMs

Big iPhone, tiny card

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

O2, Orange and DoCoMo are all apparently stocking up on micro SIMs suitable for Apple's iPad, though taking a sharp knife to an existing SIM is always an option.

Quite why Apple decided to use the third form factor for the iPad's 3G module isn't clear, but anyone planning to stuff an existing SIM into an iPad will need to be prepared to slice off some edges to make it fit.

The Micro SIM was originally suggested by Nokia back in 1998 - Nokia wanted to make super-tiny handsets and the size of the SIM had become a limiting factor. Early GSM phones used a credit-card-sized SIM, which quickly reduced to the "Mini SIM" we know today, but that gets further cut down for the Micro SIM specification.

Micro SIM Card

Push out the SIM, or push out the Micro SIM, as you prefer

Apple has been saying the Micro SIM will also support a more-comprehensive phone book as well as greater security. In fact, both of these capabilities are part of the USIM application, which can be installed on a SIM of any size or shape as part of the 3G standard.

The traditional SIM address book supports only name-number pairs, but the USIM requires support for multiple phone numbers attached to a single name, as well as a field for an e-mail address and user-definable groups. But phone manufacturers, who have no interest in customers storing data on the operator's SIM, have been slow to integrate this functionality.

None of which explains why Apple would choose an unexploited standard for the iPad. There might be a small measure of operator lock in, but DoCoMo has already announced it will be selling Micro SIMs for the iPad, while Gemalto is reportedly supplying them to O2 and Orange in the UK, so the choice seems increasingly strange.

Perhaps Apple is offering operators an opportunity to differentiate between computers and phones on their networks - computers, and dongles, could use Micro SIMs (sold with broadband data-only tariffs) while phones will use existing SIMs with unlimited data, and those of us in possession of a sharp knife can enjoy the best of both worlds. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.