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Is there any difference between Micro-SIM, Nano-SIM and normal SIM-Card?

Question by Cleopatra | 20.01.2015 at 22:54

Today, there are a number of different SIM card formats available. As far as I know, we can distinguish between the small Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM cards as well as the old and larger normal SIM format.

Are there also any technical differences between those formats or is there only a difference in size? Thus, is it theoretically possible to insert a Micro SIM card into a mobile phone or smartphone that is actually made for a normal SIM card size? Or are the cards not exchangeable and compatible?

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Micro-SIM, Nano-SIM and normal SIM-Card (also called Mini-SIM), are differing only in size and are technically compatible. The chip is identical, only the border or edge around the chip has different widths.

Here is a breakdown of the respective sizes, all specifications are in mm

SIM-CardLengthWidthThickness
Norma SIM25,0015,000,76
Micro-SIM15,0012,000,76
Nano-SIM12,308,800,67

Since the size is the only difference, theoretically, you can exchange the cards with each other. So, if you cut a normal SIM card to the right size, you should be able to use it in a device construed for smaller SIM cards. For the other way around, there are so-called SIM card adapters available in which you can set the smaller cards so that they are fitting into the larger slot of the phone.

But be careful with cutting! The chip is quickly destroyed or it is cropped too much or too imprecise so that the card is no longer fitting properly into the device. This can destroy the device and the SIM! It is a little bit easier to use a SIM card puncher available in some specialized stores. With those devices, you can punch out the right size, but even that is sometimes easier said than done.
23.01.2015 at 18:40

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