The next generation iPhone may use the new nano-SIM standard, according to supposedly leaked images obtained by French tech site Nowhereelese [Google translation]. The new SIM card, developed by Apple and approved in Europe in June, is even smaller than the micro-SIM used by Apple since the iPhone 4 and will allow more space inside the phone to be used for internal components or a larger battery.
The photos obtained by Nowhereelse show an existing iPhone 4S SIM tray next to the claimed “iPhone 5” part. The nano-SIM tray is slightly less wide and thick than its micro-SIM counterpart, although both are approximately the same length.
The leaked part accompanies recent news that European mobile carriers are stockpiling nano-SIM cards and that U.S. carriers have been testing the new standard with Apple in anticipation of the next iPhone’s launch this fall.
Apple’s creation and control over the nano-SIM has many other phone makers worried. Nokia, RIM and Motorola have all expressed concern that Apple’s ownership of nano-SIM patents, if the technology became the market standard, would give the Cupertino company unjust influence over the development of the technology. Apple in response, in an effort to ease fears, has offered royalty-free licensing for all of its patents related to the nano-SIM form factor.
The next iPhone is expected to be announced September 12 and released on September 21.