We've seen plenty of evidence suggesting the iPhone 5 will ditch Micro-SIM cards in favor of the Apple-designed nano-SIM standard, and now Vodafone UK has made that switch a near certainty. Just one day before the latest iOS handset is expected to make its debut, the carrier mistakenly posted a blog article titled "First photos of Vodafone nano-SIM cards." In the post — which was quickly deleted but preserved thanks to Google Cache — Vodafone reveals it presently has a huge stockpile of 500,000 nano-SIMs in stock and says "the first devices have now been announced." We find it hard to read that as anything other than a thinly-veiled reference to the iPhone. Why? The nano-SIM standard was approved back in June, leaving little time for any other manufacturer to have already incorporated the miniature card in their hardware designs.

On the other hand, Apple seems to have brazenly designed the iPhone 5 with its own nano-SIM from the very beginning, despite no clear assurances that it would win out against Nokia's competing proposal. Yet that's just what happened, leaving the company in prime position to be first out the door with the new standard, which offers a footprint 40 percent smaller than Micro-SIMs. The freed up internal real estate likely enabled Apple to shrink its latest iPhone's dimensions even further, something we should see confirmed firsthand tomorrow.