Moto X may use iPhone 5-style nano-SIM

At this point, many of the Moto X's hardware and software features have already been the subject of extensive online leaks. It's a little surprising, then, to see Motorola's upcoming handset hiding one more surprise — a nano-SIM tray. The photo on the right was snapped by GSM Insider in Hong Kong, and clearly shows a smaller SIM tray and matching nano-SIM card alongside the unreleased device. (That's as opposed to the slightly larger and more common micro-SIM standard.)

Currently the only mainstream smartphone to use the nano-SIM standard is Apple's iPhone 5. Earlier in the year ASUS' quirky Padfone Infinity became the first Android handset to rock a nano-SIM.

The possible use of a nano-SIM slot in the Moto X raises a few questions, not least of which is how the decision benefits Motorola. The Moto X doesn't appear significantly more compact than other Android phones, most of which use micro-SIMs. The hassle involved with changing (or trimming down) SIM cards could also pose an obstacle to would-be Moto X buyers.

Motorola's launch event is just a day away, in any case, and we're sure any remaining questions will be addressed at tomorrow's NYC gathering.

Source: GSM Insider; via: Engadget (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Adapter sales should do well for those that carry two devices
  • Micro>Nano adapters are a pain in the ass.
  • Wish Motorola would announce what time the event is happening. With all of the hype they have put out on this it should be live streamed
  • Its not a typical press event though, from what I've gathered talking to those invited. So, there really isn't anything to livestream. Its a much more organic launch. That said, I've heard rumors of "midday" to be on the lookout for a flood of information.
  • Interesting. Thanks for the info!
  • This is a terrible idea.
    I move my sim between different phones and different tablets as the need occurs.
    standards are good for reviews and for many other things.
    Going with a propriety size would just turn me away from this phone.
    I hope this will not be the case.
  • Oh dang, they did something that didn't fit one person's needs. It is the apocalypse!
  • I wouldn't call a 4FF SIM chip proprietary. It's just the natural evolution in the "make things smaller so we can fit more stuff inside" nature of electronics. More and more devices will be moving to 4FF SIMs soon and that 3FF SIM you're using now will be the minority. It was only a couple of years ago that 2FF SIM's were the norm.
  • Was the 4FF SIM really necessary? It's barely any smaller. Or why didn't they just skip the 3FF and go to the 4FF at once? So annoying.
  • I've already transferred my number to a nano sim and I'm using an adapter to put in my nexus 4, just waiting for this phone now. Posted via Android Central App
  • A link to the adapter would be really appreciated unless you just took the first one from Amazon, in which case I can find that myself.
  • The use of nano SIM is simply showing a desire to use the latest standards available. Remember, every last millimeter in a mobile device is precious, so anything they can do to shave off a few is welcome to designers. Moving a smaller SIM to a larger device is usually not an issue, but trimming a larger one to fit in a smaller slot is not something a layman wants to do. Also, to those who don't know, nano SIM is not proprietary, it was established last summer as the smallest official standard SIM card by the GSM. There were two competing designs, from Apple and Nokia iirc, and Nokia's edged out Apples because Apple's used a mechanical drawer rather than a removable slide.
  • But the millimeters saved with the nano sim are then replaced by the tray. That makes no sense to me.
  • The tray/slot/holding mechanism is smaller than the micro SIM version in the same configuration. Anything smaller is easier to integrate into a board design, generally speaking.
  • With the sim cutter's available online, trimming a sim card is actually incredibly easy.
    I cut my mini-sim to micro with no issues
  • Except the nanos are smaller yet and now they're thinner, too.
  • This whole sim card size changing is starting to piss me off. Major pain in the ass.
  • Should we expect Apple to sue? Posted via Android Central App
  • If you breathe the same air as Apple, then you will get sued one day. You should better accept it right away and go on with your life - makes things easier. ;-)
  • LOL
  • Pssst, Alex!! the photo is on the right, not left. :)
  • hah, I saw that as well but then I realized he was saying it in respect to the picture's orientation on the page.
  • If the Moto X is really a 100% built in the US device why are we getting parts leaks from Hong Kong? Is it just assembled in the US?
  • I'm pretty sure that the final assembly is in the US. I would NOT expect the parts to be sourced from the US, just the final build.
  • Unfortunately parts will have to come from outside the US. Its impossible to build the SoC, memory, modem, sect in america when the company that builds those parts are located outside of america. fin.
  • I use more than one device but will not use an adapter. The more news I hear about the Moto X the less interested I am becoming. Too bad, because I wanted to take a look at this.
  • Motorola is so confident about this being the iPhone killer that they have included nano sim so that people who ditch their iPhone’s don't need an adopter :-P Sent from Nexus 4 using Android Central app
  • There's probably some truth to that Posted via Android Central App
  • I came to this conclusion also after selfishly being annoyed that I'd need a new sim and adapter to keep my Nexus 4 as an alternate. If the Moto X is priced 'right' this could give some iPhone contract renewals and cheap way to try android.
  • Until they find out it does not have I message and allow attaching multiple pics and videos to messages. Android really has nothing that compete with imessage which is sacred to iphoners, just ask my daughter... Posted via Android Central App
  • iMessage with my girlfriend and the pre-iOS7 music app are the only things I miss from iOS. IM-SMS integration was perfect with iMessage. I hope Google figures something out
  • I'm sorry....this is just not news. Nobody cares what sim card form-factor a phone will use. I understand news can get slow at times, but this is just ridiculous. Just because you have info pertaining to the moto x doesn't mean you have to make a news thread specifically for that. This is just another one of those tidbits that could have easily been slipped into another article that featured information people would actually care about.
  • I'm sorry but this is just wrong. Some people like to have more than one phone. With me I like to switch between my active and S4. I use the Active by the pool river or lake. Not being able to just swap out the sim is a problem to me and many others Posted via Android Central App
  • Buy an adapter for a dollar off of eBay. Problem solved. Posted via Android Central App
  • Oh I will. But it is newsworthy. People like me are happy to know this so we can be prepared. Posted via Android Central App
  • All I see is an easy way to switch from the iPhone 5 to the moto x. Every other Android phone uses micro Sim, if I'm not mistaken. Posted via Android Central App
  • Dear Mr. Dobie, I don't want to make a big deal about it. I expected better from AC, specially from you. Don't call it "iPhone 5 style Nano SIM". I very well know Apple design it. But you very well know it's an industry standard, therefore is not "iPhone 5 style" is simply Nano SIM.
    GS 4s have it, Nexus 4 have it, even GS 3 has it, and it came out well before iPhone 5. To answer your question in at end of article:
    Nano is the new Micro. You simply get with the times or don't get in at all. Carries need to offer free Nano SIMs to capable users cause if they don't, they shouldn't be in the market. It only took me but four minutes to make the switch at U.S. T-Mobile when I got my Nexus 4. K, so I could've commented a little more chill.. And you know I even quasi-defended you in the past, just not this time.
    Could it be that Apple got in to your... ... No. NOOOOOO!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!!... ALL HAIL GLORY TO APPLE AND THE IPHONE
  • Take your meds and then fix your post....oh you can't edit any longer...sorry Posted via Android Central App
  • What does this even mean? Posted via the TARDIS.
  • Actually, all the Android phone you mentioned use a micro SIM, not a nano SIM. I believe the intent was to make a quick reference to a known value for the sake of expedience, not to state that the nano SIM standard is exclusive to the iPhone 5 or anything.
  • So... So far I've been thinking nano Sim was same as the Sim used in my Nexus 4, the GS 3, GS 4. I was wrong. I guess Alex Dobie was right after all, I can totally agree on the whole article now.
    But, who's idea is it to come up with two standard trimmed out Sims? And why wasn't I sent the memo.
  • Incoming Apple lawsuit in 3...2...1...
  • @ their won't be any lawsuit coming from the weak apple or any other company,the courts already decide that this is the new norms for Sim Cards ( Nano Sim ). So all new phone will have this norms.
  • If this is the case, I definitely won't be buying one.
  • Same here, was hoping to carry it alongside my Note II, adapters are fickle at best, and lord help you if it gets stuck in there. I'll pass until this SIM technology is adopted by everyone in every device in the mainstream.
  • Isn't it possible that there would be two versions. I know that some have reported Asian models having two SIM trays. Maybe those will be nano-SIMs and the rest will be micro-SIM? Just postulating...
  • I just want to point out that if the specs for the new Droid Mini, Ultra, and Maxx are correct, they too will be using the nano-sim. The specs list under Memory/Processor: "4FF preinstalled SIM" the 4FF sim card is the identifier that Verizon uses to mark sim cards as "nano-sims" or at least it was when I sold their phones. So it looks as if possibly motorola is going switch all of their new devices over to the new-ish nano-sims.
  • All this hub bub or a damn change from Micro to Nano Sims? 1st World Problems right here people.. Holy crap when I didn't think the whining would get any worse over something so stupid...
  • +9000 This isn't a big deal, get an adapter or get a new SIM from the carrier. AC is just giving us an FYI with this article. There is really no impediment to getting this phone if you want it. Now whether or not you want it is an argument for tomorrow
  • And yet you are whining about the people discussing a topic on a message board. Oh the irony.
  • Alex, believe me, the Moto X is hiding a lot more than just "one more surprise." There are exceptional features to this phone that have yet to be revealed. Mark my words.
  • I love how you say "iPhone 5-style nano-SIM" as if Nano SIM isn't a global standard of GSM. Sure apple is to be lauded for being an early adopter, but they can have their seat right after they have their cookie. I see almost the same reactions from when the standard was shifted from mini sim to micro sim several years ago. I wonder what will happen if embedded sim becomes a standard. Sheesh.
  • Lame. Sent from my HTC One