Russian microelectronics company Sitronics will produce nano-SIM cards on orders from one of Russia’s big three mobile phone operators for their expected use in new Apple iPhones, Sitronics Vice-President for Marketing and Business Development Boris Volpe said on Tuesday.
Nano-SIM cards are 40 percent smaller than current micro-SIMs used in today's mobile Apple devices. Apple is expected to launch its iPhone 5 in September and wireless operators have reportedly launched efforts to find suppliers of new standard cards. Apple's next-generation iPhone will utilize smaller SIM cards.
“Indeed, Sitronics Smart Technology is preparing to produce a pilot batch of nano-SIMs for one of the big three mobile operators in September-October 2012. The first batch will comprise about 50,000 cards. Presumably, these cards will be used in iPhone 5 gadgets,” Volpe told RIA Novosti.
A Russian telecommunications market source told RIA Novosti Sitronics had received the nano-SIM card order from MegaFon mobile operator, although RIA Novosti was unable to confirm this information from other sources.
MegaFon declined to comment on nano-SIM purchases, saying the volume of purchases and SIM-card specifications depended on the company’s sales plans and the array of equipment offered by the mobile operator for sale.
MTS, one of Russia’s big three mobile firms, which is integrated in AFK Sistema financial holding along with Sitronics, did not specify whether the order for pilot nano-SIM cards had come from it.
“MTS selects suppliers and makes purchases of SIM-cards pursuant to annual tenders while we also track new gadgets on the market and are currently studying the possibilities of ordering nano-SIM cards,” MTS spokeswoman Valeria Kuzmenko said.
VimpelCom, a distributor of iPhones in Russia along with MTS, said the company was analyzing offers available on the market.
“A decision on the start of iPhone 5 sales will be made by Apple. That is why we cannot make any forecasts on this score. As an official distributor, we expect information from Apple on the product, the price and the start of sales in Russia,” VimpelCom press secretary Anna Aibasheva said.