With the launch of the iPad and the contract-free mobile broadband data plan for AT&T, Apple has also decided to introduce something new: micro SIM. Micro SIM cards are different from regular SIM cards and are 52% smaller than the SIM cards found on your current Tilt2 or iPhone 3GS. According to Engadget, “This card was developed by the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) to offer things like more storage space on-chip for provider applications, increased control and security functions — over what, we don’t know — and the new smaller form factor allows it to fit in tiny devices.”
The picture of the SIM card on Engadget shows a more trimmed down regular SIM card where more of the excess plastic is cut away so that the micro SIM card looks to just mostly encompass the gold foil area that makes contact with the prongs on the phone.
The irony here is that the iPad is actually a larger device than the iPhone and uses a micro SIM standard. Perhaps the move is to appease AT&T and prevent users from using other SIM cards in the device. More so, while the iPad is said to be sold unlocked, T-Mobile may not have a micro SIM card to be placed into the device. Even if T-Mobile did have a micro SIM card, an unlocked iPad would not work with T-Mobile’s 3G network and would instead fall back onto EDGE data speeds.