One of the most widely expected updates to the upcoming iPhone 5 is the dock connector, which will likely see a big design overhaul when the Apple's new smartphone is released this fall.
Apple has remained completely silent, refusing to name the device or admit to its existence, but that hasn't stopped everyone from taking part in speculation over what new goodies the iPhone 5 will have to offer.
The rumor that Apple plans to shrink the iPhone 5 dock connector has been picked up and confirmed by a number of websites including The New York Times and Reuters. Every iPhone since the original model has featured a 30-Pin, but the new iPhone will likely feature 19 pins, or possibly just nine. Yesterday, 9 to 5 Mac uncovered a detail in the new iOS 6 Beta 4 that hinted at a 9-Pin dock connector. Either way, fewer pins means a smaller dock connector, and this likely redesign has appeared in a multiple leaked images of the iPhone 5.
No matter what happens we can assume that the iPhone 5 will feature a smaller, redesigned port. This might just mean a smaller dock connector, but it could also mean something else, a MagSafe port.
This new, exciting iPhone 5 design rumor recently began to circulate the internet, and both IBTimes and MacRumors have posted articles supporting the theory. Here's everything you need to know about MagSafe and why it may come to the iPhone 5.
Apple first unveiled MagSafe technology in 2006. The technology uses magnets to solve an age old problem: tripping over your laptop charger and inadvertently pulling your computer off the desk for a nasty fall. MagSafe put an end to that nightmare.
Six years ago, Apple revealed MagSafe charger technology for its line of MacBook laptops. The revolutionary new power cord attaches to a power socket magnetically. If you pull at it, the MagSafe cord quickly snaps of with a quiet click.
Apple may be planning to bring MagSafe technology to the iPhone power cord, but why? The current 30-Pin dock connector works great, and an iPhone is too small to break from simply tripping over the cord.
One possibility is that this is simply the first step towards introducing MagSafe dock connectors to all Apple devices, including the iPad, which is big enough to make a mess if it takes a fall.
Another possibility is that MagSafe will be used to stabilize the tiny new dock connector. Nine, or 19 pins, may not be strong enough to hold Apple's devices. In that scenario, MagSafe becomes an elegant solution to a design problem, providing extra reinforcement.
The theory is also supported by recent leaked iPhone 5 pictures from French news-site NWE. The images, which it reportedly received from a Chinese newspaper, depict a smaller dock connector. The new port looks pretty similar to current MagSafe ports on MacBook laptops.
MagSafe technology could make the iPhone 5's shrunked dock connector more powerful, stabilizing the port so that the new iPhone can power up and sync without any interruption.