Tech Industry

T-Mobile to offer nano-SIM cards for unlocked iPhone 5s-- report

Nano-SIM cards will arrive at the carrier in mid October, allowing owners of unlocked iPhone 5s to jump to its network, says a report.

Screenshot by CNET

T-Mobile will start carrying nano-SIM cards in mid October, allowing owners of unlocked iPhone 5s to jump to the carrier, according to a report.

The Verge says it's confirmed the news with T-Mobile, following a tweet that went out from @T-MobileHelp earlier in the week.

This past Wednesday -- the day Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 5 -- T-Mobile kicked off its "Unlocked & Unlimited" campaign, under which it will be carrying unlocked iPhones in its stores for demonstration purposes, airing national commercials inviting unlocked iPhone users into its stores, and launching a few of its own iPhone apps.

That's mainly to take advantage of the presumed flood of older iPhone models that will hit the market as people upgrade to the 5. (T-Mobile already offers SIM cards for older iPhone models.)

"For everyone waiting in line for their new iPhone, they've got to do something with their original product," Harry Thomas, director of marketing at T-Mobile, told CNET on Monday.

But clearly the carrier would like to see iPhone 5 owners come aboard as well. There's a catch, though. Aside from the fact that unlocking a phone is no easy task, and buying an already unlocked device is spendy (at least $649 in the U.S.), the iPhone doesn't support T-Mobile's 3G service, so most iPhone 5ers on the carrier would be stuck with 2G. (Though you might dodge that if you live in New York; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; or Las Vegas, where T-Mobile's iPhone-friendly 4G HSPA+ service is up and running.)

Howard declined to comment Monday on how fast the iPhone could run on its network, but he claimed that where 4G was deployed, its connection speed was 70 percent faster than on AT&T.

There are other considerations too, however, as noted under the "Before you make the switch" heading here.

Still, some iPhone iPhanatics might make the jump. T-Mobile believes its more competitively priced rate plans, including a recently launched no-strings unlimited data option, will lure in customers looking for a good deal.

CNET's Roger Cheng contributed to this report.