Telecom confirms Micro-SIM plans (hello, iPhone 4!)
Telecom techos and twitterati have long insisted that the company has a Micro-SIM card in the works, but the company’s spin doctors have refused to confirm or deny.
Today Chris Quin, who heads the telco’s Gen-i Australasia services division, confirmed to NBR that his company “will have Micro-SIMs available early August”.
The Micro-SIMs will be available to the public via Telecom stores and dealers, and to business customers via the company's Gen-i services division.
The move secures Telecom customers ability, should they wish, to use an XT SIM card with Apple’s coming iPhone 4, officially only carried by Vodafone and the first cellphone to support the new Micro-SIM format.
Earlier today, Vodafone announced its own Micro-SIM push, with a $29.95 charge to swap a Prepay SIM to a Micro-SIM, and existing and new contract customers able to get the new format card for free.
iPhone 4 and iPad 3G-friendly
Currently, there are no cellphones on the New Zealand market that can take a Micro-SIM, and only two devices of any note on the global stage - a little handset you might have heard of called the iPhone 4, plus its sister device the iPad 3G.
Asked whether the Micro-SIM would be tied to any particular device, or sold standalone, Mr Quin demurred from specific comment, offering only:
“[We have] no specific plans for the SIM. We’re just making sure the network is available for Mirco-SIM devices at this point.”
Conspiracy theorists will be quick to conclude that Mr Quin’s company moving to ensure its XT customers can still pop an XT-compatible SIM card into Apple’s latest phone.
The iPhone 4 and the iPad 3G are the first A-list devices to support the new, literally smaller Micro-SIM format (beyond them, Micro-SIMs are only seen in 3G equipped devices like burglar alarms).
But down those scissors
A regular SIM card - by dint of being surrounded by surplus cardboard, used only for branding and labelling - can be literally cut down to fill a Micro-SIM slot.
Many geekboys are happy to get out the scissors and do just that (check out this illustrated guide).
But Telecom offering “proper” Micro-SIMS (as Mr Quin terms them) will help keep iPhone 4 network hopping in the mainstream.
It will also help secure Gen-i’s guerrilla iPhone campaign, which sees it buy iPhones at retail, tweak them to run on XT, then hand them on to Telecom corporate customers.
Parallel Imported back in the iPhone fray
Another annoyance for Vodafone (still the sole official carrier in New Zealand): Parallel Imported, which took a hands-off approach to the iPhone 3GS, is taking a boots-and-all approach to promoting the iPhone 4.
Parallel Imported is taking pre-orders online now (Apple has yet to comment on that development) and says it expects delivery late this month.