This article was originally published on my personal site, some time ago, however it generated so much interest that Apple threatened to shut it down!

Everything I describe below applies to the iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone.

This morning, my shiny new iPad 3G 64Gb arrived from the USA! The only problem was, it had an AT&T MicroSIM and as yet there is no such thing in the UK.

So what’s the solution? Get a chopping board, a meat cleaver and a pair of scissors – simples!

Apologies for the focus issues with my new Canon IXUS 210 – it is going back today!

Above is a picture of the SIM cards – as you can see, they vary a lot, but the only parts that matter to us are the contacts which are common to the MicroSIM and SIM. Electronically, the SIM and MicroSIM are the same so we can cut the rest away and not worry (so long as we are careful).

To begin with, line up the three contact on the MicroSIM with the same ones on the SIM card. You can just look for the 2 centre lines and make sure they are in line and that the top of the MicroSIM is straight. Then get your meat cleaver and press down gently to score a straight line.

Cut along the score line carefully. Once you have done this, line the top of the SIM with the MicroSIM and you should see that the contacts are aligned.

Turn the SIM & MicroSIM round 180 degrees, line up the bottom and repeat with the meat cleaver, then cut along the score line once again.

The SIM should now be the same height as the MicroSIM – we are halfway there!
Line up the centre of the MicroSIM with the SIM so that we can be sure it will be aligned within the iPad

Repeat the process with the meat cleaver and scissors, then you should have a SIM which is almost the right size, save for the top edge and corner.

Once again, repeat the process with the meat cleaver and scissors, then you should have a SIM which is the same size apart from the corner.

Cut off the corner of the SIM card – you can just use the meat cleaver for this if it is nice & sharp.

Your SIM card is almost ready to go in to your iPad. As you can see, the AT&T MicroSIM has slightly rounded corners.
Use your meat cleaver to take off the tiniest of amounts. Remember, you can take more off, but you can’t put it back on.

Your SIM should now fit in your iPad MicroSIM tray.

Gently insert it in to your iPad 3G.

You should see your network indicator change to the network of your SIM card – well done!

Go in to Settings, Cellular Data

Then go in to APN and enter the access point. If you are using Vodafone in the UK, the APN is internet

Press the Home button on your iPad, go in to Safari and browse away with your new UK 3G iPad!

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided as-is. Neither John Benson or Solutios Ltd will be liable for any personal accidents or damage to SIM cards, iPad or iPhone which occur as a direct or indirect result of you following the steps on this page.

If you would like to contact me, please email


6 Responses to How To Convert a SIM to a MicroSIM with a Meat Cleaver!

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