Knowledge Base

Cutting a nano SIM for the iPhone 5

former giff-staffer

Hey folks!


As you may well know, it's a big day today. The iPhone 5 is out, and people have been queueing up for hours to get their hands on one. Along with a slew of new features, it also takes a new SIM size, smaller than previously. It's been a very hot topic on our community to say the least, with people debating about whether or not it was possible to cut down a regular-size or micro SIM to fit a phone that takes a nano SIM. Now that the phone's out, our own Kim decided to join the masses lining up for their phone and put the debate to rest once and for all, in a campaign he coined #makethissimfit.


Many thanks to iClarified and Christian von der Ropp for the guide we used, available over here.



The contents of the box - including the new EarPods, the new Lightning sync cable, and the giffgaff SIM we'll be cutting down (although we provided that one ourselves!)



The first cut, and a sharp intake of breath



Alex and others crowd around to see how the process is going



The final cut! You may notice that it looks like Kim is cutting into the chip itself here, but don't be concerned - we're just trimming the copper contacts down, and the functionality of the chip (which is actually a lot smaller than the contact by itself) is unaffected.



The finished product


It fits into the tray! Kim's very proud of his handiwork. But will we get signal?



3G signal appears just as we're connecting to WiFi.



"Hey, Claire! Success!"


We've been testing it all morning, and everything works just great - 3G, calls, texts, everything that our goodybags provide. If you've just got your phone and you're looking into joining us, grab a free SIM here and give it a go! Some of our members on the community are also cutting SIMs down if you need one - have a look around and you may be able to get one pre-cut - and as it's from another member, you'll get an extra fiver on there as a thanks.


If you're going to try this one at home for your iPhone 5, cut carefully. As well as possibly cutting yourself with the scissors as they bite through the plastic, cutting too close could damage your SIM, or make it smaller than it needs to be so it won't make good contact in the phone - it's better to have a snug fit than a loose one. Also, of course - this is all at your own risk. If you cause any damage to your device, we can't take any responsibility - we're sharing our experience and yours may vary. Don't worry, though - if you do make a mistake and damage your SIM, you can order a replacement really easily through our site.


You may have seen people talking about sanding down SIMs, as the nano SIM specification is thinner than the current micro SIM. We found, though, the the iPhone 5 doesn't seem to care about this restriction - a full-thickness SIM will fit in just fine without any sanding. Just a few deft cuts and you're good to go with the magic of the iPhone 5 on giffgaff.


<3, Mark


UPDATE 18:30:


One last treat - Will T on the educator team has put together a short video showing him cutting down a nano SIM from a micro SIM in less than five minutes - check it out!


giffgaff head-scratcher

Whilst we appreciate this blog explaining the ins and outs of producing a nanoSIM


Can giffgaff now please address the issues forming on the community regarding member led schemes to provide them

These are currently generating polarised opinion from members as to whether such a scheme should be allowed, or endorsed whilst we wait for giffgaff to formally produce official nanoSIM

lives and breathes giffgaff
Mark can you please ensure that replacement sim are prioritised and that they are sent out over the weekend this is a big thing and people will not be happy to wait for a replacement sim, they need to be provisioned as well and bars lifted in a timely manner. It's great that the sim can be cut as short term measure well done

As mentioned in another post, I think if you are making a one-off with your precious existing GG SIM, it is better to cut bigger and sand down with fine sand paper as others have done, than go right up to the required line with the shears?


I was able to cut mine down too, so thankfully don't have to switch networks again so soon after joining giffgaff...


This has still been a lot more GAFF than giff on the nano sim front... A serious pooch screw on your side!


#HappyNow Smiley Happy

former giff-staffer

@darrenpainter - here's the gaffer's official ok - "it's OK" !!!


@pinkcalculator - replacement SIMs are prioritised - they're dispatched 1st class the morning after they're ordered.

giffgaff head-scratcher
by handy giff-staffer gaffer on 21-09-2012 15:51

@darrenpainter - here's the gaffer's official ok - "it's OK" !!!




So the discussion and arguments surrounding the whole issue of nanogaff are OK ?

I'm sure that's not what you meant to imply Smiley Happy


I've cut one down from a micro sim and then slightly filed it down and have tested it in a friends iphone and it works.

This is great news. I was thinking of ordering a vernier gauge pending news on whether or not a SIM really does need to be thinned - now that it's confirmed unnecessary to do so, it's much less of a headache to make and distribute!

There are quite a few sellers selling nano-SIM cutters on eBay - I would suggest that you mention that on the blog so that people can use proper tools if they want to. It also opens the doors for a Nanogaff scheme, but this time more inclusive and less controversial.
Can you show us a pic of how much of the chip is cut?

Nanogaff away!