Perhaps feeling outdone by the Samsung Galaxy S II, Apple is now pushing for a new SIM card standard that would allow them to make thinner iPhones. Apple currently uses a micro-SIM in their iPhone 4 and iPad that is already smaller than standard SIM cards. But according to reports from European carrier, Orange, Apple has recently proposed a new SIM standard that will be even smaller.
The image above shows the current micro-SIM card (bottom right) punched out of a full-sized SIM card (top right).
"We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor -- smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad," said Anne Bouverot, Orange's head of mobile services."They have done that through the standardisation route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them."
The process of standardizing a smaller SIM card would surely take some time, but the first devices to utilize them could reach the market by next year. Given that Apple's iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are rumored to appear in September and November, respectively, we may not see the new micro-SIM until the iPad 3 or iPhone 6. And looking at the current size of the micro-SIM, it's also hard to imagine how much smaller it can possibly get.