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I just puchased an iPhone5 and want to use my current SIM from my existing phone. Is there a way to convert my existing SIM to nano-SIM?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

No. You could cut it to the same dimensions, but the risk to damage the chip is high. Additionally the nano sim is slightly thinner, so it still wouldn't be a good fit.

I suggest you exchange your sim card with your operator. Note that there exist adapters to fit a nano sim in a larger form factor though.

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I agree for most, the answer should be NO - just get a new SIM, but I don't want to spoil all DIY from trying it if they know the risks... – bmike Nov 18 '12 at 19:36

The downsides of converting your SIM are:

  • You no longer have a SIM to activate your old iOS phone (assuming it's an iPhone).
  • If you mess up the cut, you still need to go get a new SIM (perhaps two)
  • If your cut isn't precise, the SIM could wiggle loose later from the carrier since the nano-SIM carrier is designed for a thinner card and very precise dimensions.
  • Your carrier might expect newer SIM in the devices and your service could be impacted (very low chance - but I've seen it happen with AT&T and older Cingular, other SIM's that eventually lose support if you don't get their newer numbered SIM cards).

The upside is you might skip a trip or a call to your carrier and if you are good at cutting, you can shave down an existing card if you really want that thrill of DIY.

Engadget has a nice picture of the carriers you could use to place a nano-SIM into a phone that expects a micro-SIM or SIM. Here are the micro-SIM and nano-SIM compared to some common coins for a reference to how small scale these are physically.

Engadget photo of micro-SIM and nano-SIM
Photo from Engadget
The real issue is if your contacts on your SIM (or micro-SIM) are placed in the correct places for the iPhone 5. Here is a picture showing that some micro-SIM have larger/different contact points than a nano-SIM.

iPhone today photo of micro-SIM and nano-SIM
Photo from Today's iPhone

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I've read a number of positive reports on DIY resizes. Apparently Apple allowed enough slack in the nano-SIM slot that the thicknesses is not an issue. It does require careful cutting and if you screw it up you'll need a new SIM. You can find templates and instructions on the Internet. I have not seen any punches yet for nano-SIM's.

As suggested, if possible, it's better to get a replacement nano-SIM if your carrier offers it.

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