Difference Between Micro SIM and Nano SIM

For a mobile phone to gain access to prevailing possibilities like messaging or calling another cell phone user, it wouldn’t have been possible without the chief component of the phone, the SIM card. It is true that all phones, big or small, require SIM cards.

However, these phones don’t always require SIM cards to be of uniform size.

The primary model of these SIM cards was recognized as the Standard SIM cards and the following models were then called Mini-cards which were comparatively more compact. The successor of these Mini-cards was then recognized as Micro-cards while the present-day model is widely known as the Nano cards.

However, the difference between these cards is not just confined to their size. In this article, we are going to compare the two cards- Micro SIM cards and Nano-SIM cards and provide clarity on the certain dissimilarities between them.

Micro SIM vs Nano SIM

The main difference between Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM cards is that Micro cards are third-generation cellular chips which are not only the bigger version when compared to the Nano-SIM, but is also the more compact version of the Mini-SIM cards as a result of removing the additional plastic around the SIM card circuit whereas Nano cards are fourth-generation SIM cards, which is comparatively smaller than a Micro-SIM to just keep the gold portion and have merely enough area of insulation around it to avert short-circuits.  

Micro sim vs Nano sim


Comparison Table Between Micro SIM and Nano SIM (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of comparisonMicro SIMNano-SIM
Form FactorMicro SIM cards are considered to be the third form factor (3FF).Nano SIM cards are considered to be the fourth form factor (4FF).
InterconversionsMicro SIM cards have been trimmed and created from Standard SIM cards and can easily be converted into Nano-SIM cards.Nano SIM cards have been trimmed and created from Micro-SIM cards and cannot easily be converted into Micro-SIM cards.
ShapeMicro SIM cards are larger as they have specifications of 15 × 12 × 0.76 mm.Nano SIM cards are smaller in size and have specifications of 12.3 × 8.8 × 0.67 mm.
ChainMicro SIM cards have given a rise to the creation of Nanochips.Nano SIM cards have given a rise to the creation of embedded chips.
ToolsSince Micro-SIM cards can easily be converted into Nano SIM cards, they do not require any tools to transfer the required data.Since Nano-SIM cards cannot easily be converted into Micro SIM cards, an adapter is required to transfer all the data from the Micro to the Nano-SIM cards.


What is Micro SIM?

Micro SIM cards are smaller than the standard SIM cards and are considered the third generation SIM cards. Micro SIM cards have been reduced from Mini-SIM cards by trimming them at the edges around the circuit.

Micro SIM cards were introduced in the market in the year 2003 but aren’t much in use now as a result of the cutting-edge technology and the introduction of Nano-SIM cards.

Micro SIM cards were initially used in iPhone 4’s during the year 2010 even though they were developed way back in 2003. The chips of the Micro SIM cards are of the same size but the edges are smaller and thinner as compared to standard SIM cards.

The length of the Micro SIM cards has been reduced from 25mm to 15mm and the width has been reduced from 15mm to 12mm. However, although the length and width of the Micro SIM cards have reduced, the thickness of 0.76 remains the same as it has solely considered the fact of saving more space.

Some Micro SIM cards are attached to the standard SIM cards, which one can easily pull off. This is known as Combi SIM as both the standard SIM card or the Micro SIM card can be used.

micro sim

What is Nano SIM?

Nano SIM cards are the smallest SIM cards that are specifically suited for new generation smartphones or the latest wifi-cellular devices. They were introduced in the market in the year 2012 and the replacement of Nano-SIM cards from Micro-SIM cards took place very swiftly due to the advancement in technology.

Nano SIM cards have been trimmed down from Micro-SIM cards to save up space in smartphones as this ends up creating small SIM slots in phones to provide the benefit of having two Nano-SIM cards in the place of one. Micro SIM cards and Nano-SIM cards have the same design but Nano-SIM cards are smaller and thinner when compared to Micro SIM cards.

Nano-SIM cards are also widely used in almost all phones nowadays. Nano SIM cards measure 12.3mm in stature which has been reduced from 15mm, 0.67mm in thickness reduced from 0.76, and 8.8mm in width reduced from 12mm.

Nano-SIM cards have two sections in the storage system, i.e, one section is for system information and the subsequent section is for user information. The introduction of Nano-SIM cards also brought about certain difficulties which were to be faced by people when it came to transforming their Micro SIM cards to Nano-SIM cards.

nano sim

Main Differences Between Micro SIM and Nano SIM

  1. Micro SIM cards have a third form factor since they have a length and width of 15mm and 12 mm. Nano-SIM cards have a fourth form factor since they have a length of 12.33mm, width of 8.8mm, and thickness of 0.67mm.
  2. Micro SIM cards can easily be trimmed from Standard SIM cards and can be easily convertible to Nano-SIM cards. Nano SIM cards can be easily trimmed from Micro-SIM cards as this creates a lot of space in the latest smartphones and Nano-SIM cards cannot be convertible into Micro SIM cards.
  3. Micro SIM cards are greater in size when compared to Nano SIM cards since there were introduced in 2003 and have a height, width, and thickness of 15 × 12 × 0.76 mm. Nano SIM cards are concise in size when compared to Micro SIM cards since they were developed in an advanced technology era of 2012 and have a height, width, and thickness of 12.3 × 8.8 × 0.67 mm.
  4. Micro SIM cards have created smaller nanochips for creating more space in one’s electronic device. Nano SIM cards have created concise embedded chips to help mobile phones create efficient control.
  5. For a Micro SIM card, no tool is required to convert a Micro SIM into a Nano-SIM. For a Nano SIM card, a specific tool called an adapter is required to transfer data from the Micro SIM to the Nano SIM on conversion.
Difference Between Micro SIM and Nano SIM



Over the last few decades, cell phones have turned out to be an essential part of people’s life. Therefore, it is necessary to have a clear-cut notion of how the SIM card is a vital component for any mobile phone user.

SIM card stands for subscriber identity module and is an integrated circuit which not only comes with its distinctive serial number, but also safely preserves all the crucial information a mobile phone user has, like for instance, their name, cell phone number, location, contact numbers and text and call records.

As the years went by, SIM cards have advanced a lot and so did the mechanism in them. As they keep evolving, these cards appear to be more compact than the previous cards.

The two most familiar SIM identifications which are currently subjugating the wireless world of connectivity are the Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM cards. This article helps provide a clear comprehension of the differences, meanings, and features of the two well-known smart cards.

To sum up, the huge dissimilarity which matters between the two cards is not just the size. There are likewise constraints on how Nano-SIM cards cannot easily be reshaped into Micro-cards without the help of gadgets like adapters.

On the other hand, Micro cards can successfully be shaped into Nano cards which can come in handy when someone looks forward to purchasing a new high-end phone.


  1. https://tarjomefa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/TarjomeFa-F210-English.pdf
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8554774/
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