If you’re expecting a new iPhone 5 on Friday, and you’re buying it unlocked directly from Apple, you’re going to need a nano-SIM to go with it. Obtaining one is easy if your carrier is one supporting the new device, because you can just call them up and request one. But what if you’re already stuck in a contract with a carrier that doesn’t provide nano-SIMs yet?
Fortunately for you, scissors, some sandpaper, and a pair of steady hands will allow you to cut down your existing SIM or micro-SIM into a nano-SIM.
The nano-SIM is around 40% smaller than the micro-SIM, measuring 15 x 12 x 0.76mm. That means there’s zero chance you’ll be able to stuff your micro-SIM into your iPhone 5 without modifying it first. But CNET reports that it’s possible to cut down the micro-SIM for a nano-SIM slot — just like you could cut down your iPhone 3GS’s regular SIM card for use in the iPhone 4. It does require a little more work, however.
You see, not only is the nano-SIM smaller than the micro-SIM, but it’s also 12% thinner. That means you don’t just need to cut it down to size, but you also need to put it on a diet and thin out out a little bit. CNET’s John Chan explains:
Now, let’s say the SIM tray on the iPhone 5 allows a nano-SIM up to 0.70mm (as permitted by the allowance in the standard set by ESTI), I will need to pare down 0.12mm on my micro-SIM so that it will fit. After a few minutes of sanding with some sandpaper (240 grit, for those who care), it was finally down to 0.70mm. But did the sanding damage the card?
I’m happy to report that the card, even at 0.70mm, continued to work when inserted in an HTC One X. Sanding the non-metal side of the micro-SIM did not appear to affect how it functions.
Before you go ahead and do this, wait until you receive your iPhone 5 on Friday and double-check that a micro-SIM cut down to size — without sanding — doesn’t fit. It’s likely it won’t, but as Chan notes, we can’t be sure of that until the iPhone 5 is released and it can be tested.