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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


Click to reveal

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


Click to reveal
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.
big cheese
I don't think the register your intrest option is quite ready yet I've not seen any further reference

Like many others, I'm sorry to have to leave giffgaff. Many of my friends are doing so too!


Sorry Giffgaff, but based on the possibility that by the time I have a phone that uses a nanosim and on the possibly wrong assumption that there will be no simple solution available via the community or a practical DIY approach or a SIM punch in my local phone shop or market stall or eBay, I am definitly leaving Giffgaff right now and you are obviously going to go bust anyway. 




giffgaff IS o2, and o2 obviously work with apple - so none of this really makes sense other than as a way to rein back giffgaff's runaway success and shift customers back to the parent brand. It always was too good to be true, though Smiley Happy Shame


Too slow, I'm afraid. Bye bye, GiffGaff


Combine this slow response to what will inevitably be a fast-selling product and you have the start of the decline of GG. Whilst I will still use and support the network, my eyes will start wondering around comparison sites to spot a better deal, if there is such a thing in existance.


Guttered GiffGaff I've got to leave now cause of this, just ordered the iPhone 5 and want to use it straight after delivery. 


I'll also be buying an iPhone 5 in the coming weeks and I'm sad to say, I'll be saying goodbye to GiffGaff.


It was good while it lasted. Smiley Sad


Disappointed that there hasn't yet been an update from GiffGaff on where things stand. There are clearly many disgruntled customers on this thread. It would be nice for GiffGaff to come back to their customers acknowledging the disappointment, telling us what action has been taken since the initial post.

It would also be good if they could confirm a few things that are being frequently asked on here such as...

1) As GiffGaff is owned by O2, can they get a small number of nano Sims from them to see them over? If this isn't possible, please tell us.

2) Are GiffGaff having to start the process of acquiring nano Sims from scratch or was there some preliminary work carried out prior to the iPhone 5 announcement?

3) Do GiffGaff have any confirmation of whether standard or micro Sims can be converted to nano Sims? There have been reports of people having successfully cut down their sims, but these have not been tested in iPhone 5s. They are still effectively working in the standard/micro slots they were designed for when sat in an adaptor.

4) What are GiffGaffs plans for keeping their customers updated. Are they able to tell us when agreements for manufacture have been agreed etc; I know this is business specific information, but if the network is really run by us, then there's no reason not to tell us how things are progressing.


As has been posted elsewhere all the iPhone5 fans on Giffgaff should perhaps be equally concerned about this:


Sounds like a real issue IMO. When 4G eventually gets rolled out on O2 / Voda , the iPhone5 will not support the frequencies used on O2. Perhaps O2/Voda is a big enough market to make a modified UK-specific 4G model but doesn't sound like this will be what gets sold at launch.