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Mobile providers stockpiling nano-SIM cards ahead of autumn iPhone 5 release

Mobile phone networks are stockpiling new generation nano-SIM cards ahead of an expected autumn release for the latest Apple smartphone, according a report in the Financial Times.

Expected to be called the iPhone 5, the mobile will be the first to use the latest SIM card iteration, which is approximately 40 per cent smaller than the existing generation of micro-SIMs and boasts minuscule measurements of just 12.3 X 8.8mm. Micro-SIMs, which resemble a traditional SIM with the edges cut off, are currently deployed in the iPhone 4S and first began appearing commercially back in 2010.

In addition to Apple, major phone manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola and RIM ventured competing designs for the nano-SIM, forcing the European Telecommunications Standards Institute – who governs standard-issue technology like SIM cards – to make a decision, which ended up favouring the Cupertino-based tech giant.

Apple's iPhone 5 – or whatever moniker it eventually goes by – is likely the most heavily speculated mobile release of all-time.

An autumn release coinciding with Apple's new iOS 6 software is expected, though it should be noted that Apple has yet to make an official announcement.

The general consensus on the rumour mill seems to hint at a slight re-design and, more specifically, at a taller yet thinner phone with a 4in-plus HD display. Numerous photos purporting to show various aspects of the device have appeared in recent weeks.