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(Pocket-lint) - The organisation that sets the standard for size and design of the SIM cards we put in our phones has just approved an even smaller SIM card to be used in the phones of tomorrow.

Dubbed the nano SIM, the new card will be 40 per cent smaller than the current micro-SIM card found in the iPhone, iPad, Nokia Lumia range and some HTC and Motorola smartphones.

"Today’s SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device. This space is more and more valuable in today’s handsets which deliver an ever increasing number of features," said the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ESTI) - the people in charge of setting the size.

The new card will measure 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and be 0.67mm thick.

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To put that into something you can grasp, the plastic surrounding the gold chip on your SIM is all but gone.

Thankfully the nano SIM will still be compatible with older devices although it will require an adapter, very much like many use for the micro SIM to let it fit in a phone with a standard SIM slot.

In the lead up to the standardisation approval Apple, Nokia, RIM, and Google's Motorola fought over the design of the nano SIM with Apple's design reportedly winning out in the end.

Nokia has said that it was disappointed by the decision, which it believes has created an inferior SIM card. Because of that the company expects the micro-SIM to continue to be a preferred option for many manufacturers for the time being.  

Writing by Stuart Miles.