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giffgaff nano SIM update

former giff-staffer

Hi all,


Well, since this is my first ever blog post, I might do well to start with a bit of an introduction. My name’s Mark and I joined giffgaff in July as the new Product Manager. As the job title suggests, my role is to manage the products and services which giffgaff sells from goodybags to nanoSIMs. On this occasion, we’re talking about the latter.


Just like all of you, we at giffgaff have been waiting with bated breath for Apples’ iPhone launch, hoping to hear about any new features and changes from the iPhone 4s. We’re excited to see that Apple has released the new model as a SIM free proposition as well as on contract.


One of the changes to the new iPhone is the introduction of an even smaller SIM card, the nanoSIM. We’ve been expecting this for a few weeks now and have been able to take steps towards supporting the nanoSIM, but since we do not have a direct relationship with Apple, we have been acting on assumptions and rumours like everyone else until yesterday.


We will be supporting the iPhone 5 as soon as we can, but before we go ahead and offer the nanoSIM, there are a number of technical changes that need to be made. To be able to get the giffgaff nanoSIM launched as soon as we can, we are looking at alternative distribution methods (a bit like we have done in the past with Microgaff). If all goes well, we hope to have the SIM cards ready for distribution in the coming months


To help everyone to stay up to date with our launch plans, we will be introducing a new ‘register your interest’ community page to  So if you sign up we will send you an email as soon as we launch the nanoSIM so that you can be one of the first to get your hands on one. This will be coming soon.


That’s it for now. We’ll be sure to keep you all up to date as our launch plans start to formalise, but until then, thank-you for your patience and please be assured that will be supporting the nanoSIM as soon as possible.




Update from Mark 19.26 14th Sept


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Thank-you to everyone for your comments. First of all, please know that we are hearing your feedback and doing all that we can to deliver the nano SIMs as soon as possible.


I wanted to share some additional information with you to provide some context as to why we are not offering nano SIMs from the launch day of the iPhone 5.


In order to deliver the nano SIMs, technical work needs to be carried out which will enable us to provision nano SIMs with giffgaff settings. Every few weeks, we have a technical release and we need to make priority calls on what needs to be included.


As a small, lean company, we need to get maximum benefit from these technical releases and since we couldn't be sure that there would be a SIM free iPhone5 market with nano SIM at the time that we finalised the requirements for the last technical release, we took a decision to prioritise other important technical initiatives whilst also getting as prepared as possible for the potential nano SIM launch following the iPhone5 announcement.


Now, following the announcement and having heard your feedback, we are working flat out to get the nano SIMs prioritised and launched as soon as possible.


I hope this update provides some more information on the reasons why we are not offering nano SIM from the iPhone 5 launch date, but also some reassurance that we're doing all we can to get them delivered asap.

Update from Mark 12.29 15th Sept


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Hello everyone - thanks again for all of your comments. 
I can see there have been a number of requests for more definitive time scales for delivery of the nano SIM. I just wanted to say that I will be providing an update early next week on this.
In the meantime, thank-you for your patience.

 Update from Mark 19.26 18th Sept


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Hi everyone, 


First of all I just want to thank everyone for their comments and feedback so far. I realise that we promised an update early this week but unfortunately we are still having internal conversations but I'll be in a position to update you all tomorrow. 


Thanks for your patience,



 Update from Mark 19.26 19th Sept


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Hello everyone,
There have been a number of requests for more information on when we will be able to offer nano SIMs on
giffgaff and we committed to providing an update today.
We would like to start this post with an apology to anyone who was hoping to order a nano SIM from us in time
for the iPhone5 launch.
The decisions we made as a company, were based within the context of a small but growing company with limited resources. Without access to all of the information we have today, a company decision was made to focus
giffgaff resources on other very important areas which would allow us to continue operating as a business. 
The process for delivering the nano SIM on giffgaff was kicked off several weeks ago and is being treated as a high priority, but there are some steps which simply cannot be made faster. For these reasons, at this stage, the company cannot commit to detailed delivery timescales, but we are expecting to launch nano SIMs before the end of this year.
We are aware that this is not the answer many of you will have been hoping for, but it does provide an honest
overview of where we are. We will, of course, continue to explore every available route to delivering the nano
SIM to you earlier and provided that we can find an effective, reliable solution, we will deliver it.
For those of you who would like to be kept up to date with details of the nano SIM delivery on giffgaff,
a ‘Register Your Interest’ page will be launched in the coming days and anyone who registers on this page will be
provided with updates nearer to the launch date by email.



Without wanting to throw any toys out of the pram on what is clearly an emotive subject for many, I am frustrated because I recently switched to GiffGaff because of their competitive pricing (at least right now, not necessarily going forward) and unlimited data. My intention was to look at the available phones at the end of Sep and see what I could replace my HTC Desire with (which has, for an award winning phone, a terrible memory design flaw that should have been picked up by reviewers).


Looking at the new phones coming out, the iphone5 does look pretty good. No real must have features, but undeniably a step on from the 4S, much better than the Desire and works very nicely with my iPad.


Now we all know that GG were slow out of the blocks with regards to micro sims. While I am aware that GG is a community supported network, getting members to start chopping SIMS down is at the least unprofessional and gives the wrong impression to customers.


It's my understanding that GG made an investment earlier this year in buying quite a large stockpile of SIMS that were compatible with the micro format.


To an extent GG are hamstrung by having taken so long to buy their microSIMS and are potentially, should other manufacturers copy Apple and incorporate the nano SIM into their design, looking at having large stockpiles of microSIMS that they literally can't give away unless some of the more Heath Robinson techniques suggested actually work on a phone designed for a nanoSIM.


Is GiffGaff big enough to stand that kind of loss?


Mark I know you haven't been in the job long and I don't envy you the situation you find yourself in now.


For such a small, lean organisation I am somewhat shocked that GG has taken so long to address this issue. Once the nano SIM had become an officially recognised standard, GG should have been talking to suppliers, determining if a combined SIM, micro & nano card was feasible, how much it cost, how many they could get in and how long it would take.


Do we even have a link to register interest in nanoSIMS yet? does GG have any idea how many nanoSIMS they need to order? Surely that would affect the price that GG would be paying? or are they sitting in the GG office hoping that it's just a vocal minority registering their displeasure?


Just imagine if GG had been ahead of the game, they could have been picking up subscribers from other companies rather than looking at losing them to 3.


I'll be perfectly clear here, I'm a short term GG'er, less than a month, I've got about £20 credit in my account right now and i'm on the £10 goody bag. I will not be funding my account until I have a nanoSIM, if that SIM becomes available before my credit runs out, then all is well and good, if you can't supply one in that timescale then I will be moving to another network.


So the question everyone wants to know is, When will the new SIMS be available? We don't want 'In a few months' or some other vague timescale. We want to know the date when GG will be able to ship nanoSIMS, or the date your supplier will commence deliveries or some other concrete information.


Have to say i'm with the majority on this. Been looking around and am seriously considering running down my giffgaff balance and current goodybag and switching to Three... at least until nano sims are available. 


Shouldn't really be in this situation. 


This is the first time i've been heavily disapointed by GiffGaff. 


Dear Mark,


I wish to echo the well articulated arguments and sentiments in the posting by randalf71. You indicated on 15 Sept that you would provide an update today. I'd be most grateful if this update has a clear sense of where this issue rests with you, the status of acquiring nano sims and a clear date as to when we can expect to get them.  A vague response will only exacerbate the frustrations many have expressed and underscore the lack of professionalism by GG management.


If there is no clear response today, the consequences, at least from my perspective are clear...... a decision that I do not wish to make but rests with you.




  • £25 1 month rolling contract
  • Nano-SIM
  • 2000 minutes
  • 5000 Three-to-Three minutes
  • 5000 texts
  • AYCE eat data

This is tempting, giffgaff.

heavy hitter



Why bother with the £25 a month one, they do a £12.90 one that's exactly the same but has 200 minutes, unless you need the extra minutes of course.

Emm pepole, we can just cut the sim cards to a nano sim size, I cut my standerd Goiffgaf sim to fit a 4s and trimming it some more for my iPhone 5 this weekend Smiley Happy!

Tesco have a good deal on right now - £10.50 for 250 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB data.


I'd much rather stay with GiffGaff, not least because my girlfriend is on GiffGaff too... but not having nano sims simply isn't practical.


Please hurry up and get some nano sims in stock!

heavy hitter



I too have cut my micro-SIM down to nano-SIM size and it still works perfectly when used in a phone using the plastic sim adaptor I have.


However when you cut the sim down you have to cut into the chip, the iPhone 5 has a metal sim tray and I do not know how the metal against metal (sim chip to sim tray) might react, I'm thinking it might short it out and not work.


So it's all well and good saying just cut it, but no-one knows if it will actually work in the phone.


@martinwallis:  Good point.  I didn't think of that.  Even better value for money!


@imclovinnx: It is possible to trim the SIM down to size and sand it to the correct thickness but we need it to be tested in an iPhone 5 before we can confirm that the method works.