Reports surrounding Apple's iPhone 5 have intensified in recent weeks, and with more hardware leaks surfacing, it appears the smartphone's release is closing fast.

With reports that AT&T, Verizon, and German carrier Mobilcom Debitel, are gearing up for the September 21 launch of the iPhone 5, it was only a matter of time until more concrete evidence surfaced.

We already heard the dock connector would be getting smaller, but new images seem to prove that the iPhone 5 will come with a new sync/charging cable.

While the cable will still come with a standard-size male USB end, Apple appears to be ditching the 30-pin connector in favor of a much smaller 8-pin connector on the opposite side.

MagSafe connection with adapters for 30-pin accessories?

Though the images of the cable certainly fit in line with what we expect Apple's iPhone accessories to look like, there are still a few questions about the new cable.

There are indications Apple will sell an adapter for the new 8-pin end so the iPhone 5 will still work with many of the older 30-pin accessories previously sold.

Additionally, it's reported the 8-pin end may be a MagSafe connection, similar to those on the new MacBooks, which would make it much easier to snap the cable into place.

Whether this new cable will also find its way into other iOS devices such as the iPad Mini, or even refreshes of the iPod Touch and new iPad, remains to be seen.

Of course, don't take our work for it - our special TR News iPhone 5 report has all the information in our 'alternative' look at the new handset:

Regardless of whether this leaked photo ends up being real or not, we'll find out soon enough during Apple's September 12 event.

Via iLounge and iPhone Hacks