A report from Reuters has Anne Bouverot, Orange’s head of mobile services quoted as saying that Apple has submitted a new requirement for a smaller SIM card. The submission was made to the European Telecoms Standards Body (ETSI) and the new SIM would be smaller than the one used in the iPhone 4 and iPad.
This smaller SIM would theoretically allow for thinner future versions of the iPhone and iPad. Currently the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 use the micro-SIM standard, which is a variant of the original full-size SIM card introduced in 1991. The new micro-SIM form factor features roughly the same size contact patch as the second generation mini-SIM, which was the model used in the iPhone 2G, 3G, 3GS and in the current iPhone 4. Any further reduction in size would change the actual contact size significantly.
“They have done that through the standardization route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them,” said Bouverot.
The submission process will take some time so any devices using this new SIM would not be out until next year. If it gets introduced with a new model of iPhone this would mark the first time that Apple has created a new SIM type with the introduction of a new iPhone. The mini-SIM used in iPhones pre-2010 was a long running standard used by many devices.