The SIM card – Subscriber Identity Module – is the key element of any smartphone. Without it, no calls, texts or internet. Your SIM card is a direct link to the network of your cellphone provider. This tiny plastic card has kept its rectangular form factor since its debut. However, there are several sizes currently on the market. That’s where it gets tricky. Even more so when your smartphone is dual sim. Let’s try to clear a few things up.
Four types of SIM cards exist but only three can be found nowadays.
The Standard SIM card was the first generation of SIM card to ever be produced. Its credit card form factor made it pretty bulky. As it was not convenient to use, this model has been set aside. The standard SIM card was mainly used in phone booths. As they are progressively being dismantled, there’s no point in keeping this SIM card format alive.
In order to keep using the SIM card in the new generation of phones, the industry had to come up with a smaller alternative. The mini SIM was born. It’s the most common and used format out there.
Note that the SIM card is not only an essential tool to have access to communications on the go, it’s also a memory card capable of backing up all your contact info.
The world of technology is constantly evolving. Given this, the room available inside the phone is more crucial than ever. Therefore, everything is now miniaturized and the SIM card is no exception. In 2000, the micro SIM showed up on the market. It took, however, several years for this format to become commonly used.
Keeping everything squeezed into a slim and compact body still matters. That’s why phone carriers went beyond what had previously been done: they kept only the chip of the SIM card and got rid of the surrounding plastic. The nano SIM is currently the smallest format out there. However, compatible products are not numerous yet their number is rapidly increasing.
All of the above models are compatible with each other. Therefore, cellphone providers tend to offer SIM cards that are pre-cut in every format currently available. This means that their customers get a SIM card that always fits in their phone.
If your SIM card doesn’t fit into your phone, there are two different options. You can use an adapter if your SIM card is smaller than the one you need. On the other hand, if your SIM card is too big, then you have to contact your phone carrier in order to get a new one.
The SIM card is more secure than it looks. Security is the main concern of your cellphone provider, especially since contactless payments (NFC) are booming. Many sensitive data is at risk and should be protected. It’s important to note that SIM cards are external appendixes than can be physically altered.
Experts agree that the SIM card is currently on its last legs. That would involve many advantages like:
– Increasing the overall security of phones,
– Facilitating the mobile number portability and roaming abroad. No physical manipulation would be needed, everything could be done via software updates,
– Allowing manufacturers to create even thinner and compact phones.
We have to bear in mind that this evolution will be gradual.