iPhone 5 Nano SIMs reportedly hit retailers for "near future" launch

Supplies of the Nano SIM cards Apple is expected to switch to for the iPhone 5 have reportedly begun arriving at carrier stores, a week in advance of Apple's rumored launch date for the new iOS smartphone. Signs of the smaller SIMs was spotted at German T-Mobile locations, iFun reports, along with letters informing retail staff that the new chips were for "the latest generation of smartphones" expected "in the near future."

The letter does not make specific mention of the new iPhone, but so far Apple is the only company believed to be using the very latest standard. Unlike the existing Micro SIM used in the iPhone 4S and new iPad, which measures in at 15 x 12 x 0.76 mm, the Nano SIM is smaller in all dimensions, measuring 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.67 mm.

That allows for a smaller device altogether, though the chip on the card itself remains the same size as before. The slight plastic edge which stays around it acts as a buffer to avoid short-circuits with the body of the phone; adapters will make it compatible with larger slots in other devices, and Apple is expected to continue to use a SIM tray design as with previous models.

"Dear partners,

You will receive today a new generation of SIM cards for the latest generation of smartphones that come in the near future on the market. Sort your SIM card please first not in their cards in hand and give it not out to customers. We will inform you shortly about how to proceed." T-Mobile Germany letter

Nano SIM design led to manufacturer arguments in recent months, with Apple's preferred design not meeting with approval from all of its rivals. However, the company's insistence paid off, with the standards-setting ESTI settling on the Nano SIM proposal.

Apple is tipped to launch the new iPhone 5 at an event on September 12.

[via 9 to 5 Mac]