Micro-SIM: what it is and how you get one

If you haven’t switched phones in the past year, the SIM card inside your phone is about to go on a diet. But there’s good news, because it shouldn’t cost you anything to drop those grams.

Initially released in 2010 with Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 3G being the first products to support it, the Micro-SIM offered the same technology as what was found in your regular SIM (what is technically a “Mini-SIM”) but with less plastic.

By now, we all should know that the SIM card is the very thing that tells mobile networks that this is our phone, storing our number, contacts, and a whole bunch of little security codes designed to log you in to the mobile network with ease. SIM stands for “subscriber identification module”, and as such, should explain that it is the very thing identifying you to the mobile network.

What a lot of people don’t know is that a smaller SIM means more technology can be packed into the device. With less space dedicated to the SIM card, technology providers can concentrate on providing more features, including better cameras, faster processors, or even just slimming down the device.


The Xperia S is the first handset from Sony to feature a Micro SIM slot.

But while this smaller SIM card was launched two years ago, it’s only this year that we’re seeing it in more devices. Last year, Motorola joined Apple by offering the Micro SIM technology in its new RAZR, one of the slimmest phones to date.

This year, we’re seeing the technology make its way into handsets from Nokia, Sony, and HTC, suggesting that the few other mobile providers – Samsung, LG, Huawei, ZTE – should all be releasing smartphones utilising this technology.

So if you already have the larger SIM card in your phone, how do you change?

Well, the good news is that it’s fairly easy.

If you switch plans and purchase a new phone or jump to a different provider, they – the telco or provider – will handle it for you.

However, if you’re planning on purchasing outright, you will need to get your SIM switched over for you. While some vendors on eBay seem content with selling a Micro SIM cutting kit, we’d suggest heading in store.

We checked with Telstra and Optus, and found that you can just walk into any of their stores and have one switched over at no cost. Vodafone, meanwhile, offers the service free for post-paid customers but charges $2 for prepaid customers.