iOS 6 beta lets slip about smaller iPhone 5 dock connector?

iOS 6 beta lets slip about smaller iPhone 5 dock connector?
Itsy bitsy tiny winnie polka dot connector port

The famous Apple 30-pin dock connector sits proudly on the Cupertino-based firm's iPod, iPhone and iPad devices, but that may be about to change with the new iPhone.

We've heard several rumours suggesting that Apple will ditch its traditional multi-functional port in favour of a smaller solution, although it's unclear whether we'll see and 19-, 16- or 8-pin variant on the base of the iPhone 5.

Well now it seems all three predictions could be wrong, as a new hardware feature has been spotted in the iOS 6 beta releases of Apple's upcoming operating system, set to launch alongside the new iPhone in September.

9Pin bowling

9to5Mac was tipped off to a line of code in the iOS 6 beta, which reads: "DeviceSupports9Pin" – possibly a reference to a new 9-pin connector dock - although there's no way to be sure at the moment.

Of course if Apple were to move to this smaller connector it would have a dramatic knock-on effect in the iPhone accessory industry, with third-party manufacturers having to alter their various docks, cases etc to work with the new port.

It's been hinted that Apple may create an adaptor to allow compatibility between the two port types, but like all the iPhone 5 reports at the moment, it's purely speculation.

Luckily the launch of the new iPhone is only a month or so away, so there's not long to wait now until we are enlightened on Apple's latest mobile offering.

For those of you wondering what the iPhone may look like with a smaller dock connector, check out our 3D iPhone 5 render video below.

From 9to5Mac

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.