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What are the different types of SIM card?

The first SIM card was developed by German company named Giesecke & Devrient in 1991 and sold 300 SIM cards to the Finnish wireless network operator Radiolinja. After that, till date various types of SIM cards were developed and used.

Now let’s discuss the 5 different types of SIM card.

Read more: Hardware structure of SIM card

1. Full Size (1FF):

This is the first SIM card launched in 1991. Here FF refers to form factor. Form Factor describes the hardware structure like size and dimension in electronics devices.This SIM card have the size of credit card that we use of banks. It was introduced in 1991 but within few years this SIM card was out of use due to its bulky size. The size of this SIM card is 85.6 mm by 53.98 mm and thickness was 0.76 mm.

C30 Flexiphone supporting Full Size SIM Card
Fig: C30 Flexiphone supporting Full Size SIM Card

The mobile phones developed in early 90’s were capable of supporting this first full size sim card. The most widely used full size mobile phones was Siemens C30 Flexiphone. But within a short period, this SIM was completely outdated by the mini sim.

2. Mini SIM Card (2FF):

This SIM came in 1996 and the size is small. This is the SIM which was very popular and by today also this is still is in used. It have the size of 25 mm by 15 mm. The thickness is 0.76 mm.

Mini, Micro and Nano SIM card
Fig: Mini, Micro and Nano SIM card

This mini sim card is most widely used by almost all the mobile phones made earlier than 2015. Still, many Chinese phones along with Nokia, Samsung, blackberry, Motorola, etc do support this sim card.

3. Micro SIM card (3FF):

This SIM card was developed in 2003. Due to smaller size than the standard SIM it gains popular. As smartphones manufacturer could use the space of the mobile effectively due to the reduced SIM slot sizes. It have the size of 15 mm by 12 mm. The thickness is 0.76 mm.

Smartphones like iPhone 4S do support this micro SIM card. Other brands model like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Samsung Galaxy J2 2018,etc.

4. Nano SIM Card (4FF):

It was developed in 2012. It have size of 12.3 mm by 8.3 mm and the thickness was reduced to 0.67 mm.

Due to smaller size and compatibility, nano SIM cards have become so popular that the new smartphones are all come with nano sim card slot.

5. Embedded SIM card:

Embedded SIM is also known as eSIM. It is a re-programmable chip that is embedded (fixed) inside a device (smartphone, tablet, wearable or connected object). The information on an eSIM is re-writable and can be updated over the air.

Embedded SIM card fixed in device
Fig: Embedded SIM card fixed in device

eSIM is not a normal sim card that we plug in/out. But it is a fixed chip embedded in the gadgets during manufacture. Users can use eSIM to configure the network operator. Thus it avoids the change in SIM card during change in telecom operator.

eSIM was first supported by the Apples. iPhone X, iPhone 11 series do have a inbuilt eSIM along with the micro SIM. Google Pixel 2, Pixel 3 also supports the eSIM. The market of the eSIM is likely to rise in the near future.

Which type of SIM card do your phone support? Let us know in the comment section below.

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