Understanding the Right SIM Cards for GSM iPhones

All SIM Cards are not created equal. For iPhones, there are three kinds of SIM cards to be used. If your iPhone is purchased from a particular network provider then it comes with the right SIM card. If you have your iPhone unlocked to be used for another network or when you are abroad, then you must understand what type of SIM card will fit into your specific iPhone model.

It is important to know which SIM card is going to work for your iPhone model, especially if you have to swap your current SIM card for an international SIM to be used while roaming abroad.

The Different SIM Cards:


Standard SIM Card – This is the very first type of SIM card released and it is the most commonly used in today’s mobile devices. It measures 1 inch in length by 0.6 inch in width and it is the biggest sized SIM card. For the First Generation iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, the standard mini SIM card is used.



Micro SIM Card – This SIM card measures half the size of the Standard type at 0.6 inch in length by 0.5 inch in width (15 x 12 x 0.76 m). The Micro SIM has the same chips in a Regular SIM but with less surrounding plastic. The Apple iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S use a Micro-SIM card.



Nano SIM Card – This is by far the smallest SIM card available in the market today. It is actually 40 percent smaller than micro SIM at just 0.5 inch in length and 0.3 inch in width.Both the iPhone 5, 5C and iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 plus work with the newly released nano SIM card, which happens to be designed by Apple. Thus, it is not surprising that if you happen to get the latest iPhone, you may not be able to use the SIM card you used for the older iPhone model.

Where to Buy SIM Cards for GSM iPhones

In case you have purchased a SIM-free iPhone or unlocked, you are going to have to purchase a GSM- AT&T SIM separately. In the US, you can buy SIM cards from Straight talk or AT&T. If you are traveling abroad you can buy a SIM card from local GSM carrier.

You can buy an AT&T compatible sim card for Straight talk.

An example where you can find. Regular size sim card  Straight Talk -AT&T compatible or unlocked phones. 

Micro size sim card  Straight Talk -AT&T compatible  or unlocked iPhones  

Trim your Current SIM to Fit your new iPhone 5 or 5C or 5S

It is possible to use your current SIM (Standard or Micro) for an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S. All you need are your old SIM card, scissors, pokey stick device, and an artistic precision combined with an ultra steady pair of hands.

Since the latest Nano-SIM is not just smaller than a Regular or Micro SIM card, but 12 percent thinner as well, there are on-going debates and arguments as to whether it is really possible to trim old chips to the size of a Nano.

This process has been proven successful before – Regular SIM cards trimmed to the size of Micro SIM cards, but will it apply to the size of the smallest chip ever made? Some people have already done it with positive results.

But, before you take the plunge, it is important to understand that risks will always be present if you decide to trim your old SIM card. There is a big chance that irreparable damage will result from the shrinking process and you may be left without a phone to use for a few days. If the Regular to Micro trimming was proven successful, there could greater risk for the Nano size conversion. One look at the SIM tray of your iPhone 5 or 5S and you will understand.