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Don’t Plan on Cutting Micro SIM to fit iPhone 5 Nano SIM Slot

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The iPhone 5 will likely use a new smaller Nano SIM instead of the traditional Micro SIM card.

The past iPhones, you just have been able to cut a SIM card to fit a Micro SIM card slot, but it looks like users will be out of luck when it comes to cutting a Micro SIM to Nano SIM size.

Only Gizmos reports Giesecke & Devrient, the company manufacturing the new Nano SIM cards, says cutting a Micro SIM to Nano SIM size won’t work.

Sim card Size

Micro SIM cards reportedly cannot be converted to Nano SIM size.

It turns out, as well as a smaller size, the Nano SIM is reportedly 15% thinner than the Micro SIM cards. So even if users cut the Micro SIM to Nano SIm size with a knife or nano SIM cutter tool, the Sim card would still be too thick to put in the iPhone 5.

The message from reads as follows,

As you surely know some people have cut down a “conventional” SIM (2FF) in a MicroSIM (3FF) with a knife or with a pair of scissors. Sometimes it has worked, sometimes not. Reason that this method functioned was that the 2FF and the 3FF SIM card has the same thickness. The thickness of the Nano-SIM is reduced by about 15 percent – so we think that a reducing only in size is not working.

There is always the possibility that someone will discover a way to slice 15% of the thickness of a Micro SIM off without affecting the chip inside the card, but we’ll need to wait and see.

This is bad news for users who want to use the iPhone 5 on prepaid networks like Straight Talk and Red Pocket Mobile, neither of which currently offer a Nano SIM card.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

43 Comments

  1. lucas

    09/12/2012 at 9:23 am

    This is bogus. The 15% they are referring to is 0.09mm. That is the thickness of a think sheet of paper. 1 or 2 swipes with fine sand paper and you’re fine. Check the wikipedia site for sim cards, there is plenty of room to give the plastic back of a sim card a “haircut”. Most importantly, the foil/chip that is used for a regular and microsim is the exact same size for the nanosim. It’s simply further reducing the plastic surrounding the chip.
    I’ll be ordering my factory unlocked iPhone 5 this week and trimming my sim. No worries.

    • anj

      09/12/2012 at 12:44 pm

      that’s a very good idea…can you just tell me from which website you will be ordering it factory unlocked…so that i will also pre-order it…thank you…

    • Foz

      09/12/2012 at 6:48 pm

      Plz video and share :)

    • Dirk

      09/13/2012 at 7:14 am

      It isn’t’ just the thickness.

      http://www.itproportal.com/2012/09/12/iphone-5-nano-sim-heres-why-you-may-not-be-able-convert-your-sim-card-one/

      The contacts on a micro sim would need to be cut as well. As for reducing the thickness with sandpaper, bear in mind that the margin for error is extremely small. You’re welcome to try, but there’s a very high chance that you will simply damaging the card beyond repair.

    • JonC

      09/14/2012 at 3:10 am

      excatly. This is what I did, and works

    • Aakash

      09/15/2012 at 2:47 am

      Frm where r u getting ur factory unlocked iPhone 5??

    • Grace

      09/15/2012 at 10:36 am

      Do you have straight talk? Do you think you can take advantage of rhe LTE and broadband audio?

    • ErikP

      09/22/2012 at 11:04 am

      Did you get that to work my friend?

  2. testing2

    09/12/2012 at 12:47 pm

    iPhone 5 is not offered as a Factory Unlocked phone, protecting LTE revenues!

    • Paul

      09/12/2012 at 1:02 pm

      can anyone confirm this? I am doubting that this is the case, particularly because it will be available on so many European and Asian networks where network locking is virtually unheard of…

    • MiG

      09/12/2012 at 1:38 pm

      Factory unlocked direct from Apple in Canada.

    • Mickey

      09/13/2012 at 3:14 am

      Yes it is unlocked – ALL iphones bought on the UK apple store are unlocked.

  3. Alex

    09/12/2012 at 1:06 pm

    Or just buy a nano sim card they cost like 5 dollars.

  4. TiTi

    09/12/2012 at 1:08 pm

    Factory iPhone 5 in Canada – Pre-order 9/14: http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone

  5. Sokunthi

    09/12/2012 at 11:25 pm

    Rub it !! It’ll be thinner

  6. Steve

    09/13/2012 at 2:02 am

    There are Nano Sim card cutters already on ebay – just purchased one myself. I think the thickness wont be a problem and they will fit in with a push. If not I will file with sandpaper like original OP said :-).

  7. Owen

    09/13/2012 at 3:35 am

    lucas I’m with you, 400 grade sandpaper FTW, stop when you get the right thickness or see the back of the die ;)

  8. Dirk

    09/13/2012 at 7:21 am

    As I said in my reply to the OP, all research indicates that if you try to cut your micro sim into a nano sim you will end up damaging it beyond repair. You are welcome to try but good sense advises against it.

    • Steve

      09/13/2012 at 8:02 am

      @ Dirk – if you measure the connectors on the micro sim and compare it to the nano sim measurements given there is clear space around the connectors on the sim to do this.

  9. steve k

    09/13/2012 at 8:57 am

    can you buy unlocked nano sim card to use on tmobile

    • Paul

      09/13/2012 at 9:31 am

      Just forget tmobile. Going to Verizon budy

      • David

        04/28/2013 at 9:45 pm

        so much for that…

  10. bobby

    09/13/2012 at 9:33 pm

    Im on straight talk unlimited data talk and text for $125 for 3 months on atat network..Im gonna buy the sim cutter tool and use sand paper…With straight talk you save $2400 over 2 years with 2 lines versus standard atat plans…thats after figuring the cost different of the iPhones….Its a complete no brainer to save this much money…Except for the 30 millions idiots on atat with contracts LOL

  11. pj

    09/14/2012 at 9:32 am

    it can easily be done, why is it when people are proved wrong they cant just shut up, they continue to try to justify their ignorance.
    It DOES work cutting one down. if you really messed up the job just get another one …. jesus!

  12. Daman

    09/14/2012 at 3:25 pm

  13. Brent Jardin

    09/14/2012 at 3:58 pm

    Location = Canada. @ the apple store .ca I Just bought 2 iphones unlocked – the U.S. site you cannot untill the 21st of Sept?Why i dont know?,Brent ,Nanoo ,Nanoo

  14. Sergei

    09/14/2012 at 10:02 pm

    Its ok, we were just as worried when they changed SIM size from iPhone 3 to iPhone 4. There are SIM cutters for nano size. Check this link:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110951981471&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

  15. Aakash

    09/15/2012 at 2:52 am

    hw come we can get the iphone 5 in canada and not in USA??
    I too need to buy an iphone 5 factory unlocked..
    pls help!!

  16. Tom Wasab

    09/19/2012 at 2:10 am

  17. Sarper Sarıdal

    09/20/2012 at 4:58 am

    “traditional micro sim card” what a tradition.. lol :) so the normal sim cards became legendary.. you can slice it to fit to your phone. just because you are going to earn more money don make people get afraid booooo.. :) we are frightened..

  18. Mike

    09/21/2012 at 6:45 pm

    GREAT example of someone NOT knowing what they are talking about!!

    I tested cutting a card down and all that before I had the 5 and worked fine.

    Then I managed to get a Sim Cutter and cut my Straight Talk sim down and works perfect and FYI I didn’t even have to sand it down to make it thinner!

    Also I have the cutter for sale here!!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180979068748&ssPageName=ADME:L:BOWO:US:1123

    • brice baybes

      09/22/2012 at 8:07 am

      Mike? You are using the Iphone 5 on Straight Talk? How did you edit the APN settings?

  19. Shaun Turner

    09/22/2012 at 12:01 am

    Cut my Virgin uk sim today which was cut down from original size sim last year and now cut down to nano sim. Had to cut through metal chip on corner cut end about 2mm, phone is working and all good to go hope this helps.

  20. Taylor Auger

    09/22/2012 at 5:58 am

    Verizon iPhones come factory unlocked for use on GSM HSPA +

  21. john jacob jingleheimer smith

    09/22/2012 at 10:34 pm

    what a bunch of puss you guys are sitting behind a monitor. Pick up a iphone 5 and cut your sim down to nano and load in all the APN setting. I am using a iphone 5 on straight talk and trimmed down the micro sim. No need to shave thickness and just line up the horizontal and center lines. You editor fools are dumb fcuks

  22. jason

    09/23/2012 at 12:02 am

    I have got it from http://www.yoyobase.com/iphone-5-simcard-cutter-cut-any-gsm-sim-into-nano-or-any-micro-sim-into-nano-sim.html, it works flawlessly. I also discovered that the iPhone 5′sSIM tray is quite forgiving–the thicker card fit in with no issues.

  23. Mobile Me

    09/24/2012 at 2:21 am

    So this article by Josh Smith has been proven wrong, the man had no idea what he was talking about and was spreading false rumors. The least he can do now is apologize for misinforming everyone that read his article. This site has lost whatever credibility it thought it had.

  24. Dirk

    09/24/2012 at 6:17 am

    Hmmm… so it DOES work, at least for some. Good. However, should you try this, just make sure that, after you put in the cut sim, that the tray can in fact COME OUT again as easily as it went in. How many have tested that? You don’t want a stuck home-cut sim in there… Apple may not cover the warranty.

    I know it seems like I’m being a wet blanket but I just want people to consider ALL aspects of this.

  25. Airtarga97

    09/29/2012 at 6:05 pm

  26. Bee

    01/09/2013 at 1:23 pm

    Yes it’s bogus! I cut my wife’s micro sim from her IPhone 4 to fit the iPhone 5 and used the old sim as an adapter for the nano sim back into the iPhone 4. It works fine and I did all of it using an razer blade.

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