Apple is to ditch its traditional 30-pin dock connector on the iPhone 5 for a smaller 19-pin equivalent, saving space and introducing a major headache for iPhone accessory manufacturers everywhere.

Although we already suspected this to be the case - with photos and videos of "leaked" parts popping up online that showed a hole for a mini dock connector - Tech Crunch has independently verified Apple's intention with one of its trusted sources.

The new connector will look somewhat similar to the new Thunderbolt port on a MacBook, but will be proprietary to the iPhone 5 (and beyond, we expect).

While this will be of benefit to the build of the device, freeing up space inside the case for other components, it could be disastrous to iPhone/iPod dock and speaker solution manufacturers. Existing docks come with the original, wider connector and will therefore be incompatible with the new iPhone.

No doubt Apple will release an adapter for current docks - for £20 or so, knowing the company as we do. However, there are some concerns over stability, as systems without a back resting plate could well have issues with ensuring the iPhone 5 stays upright.

Other rumours surrounding the dock connector include that it will feature magnets and work in a similar way to the MagSafe and MagSafe 2 power cables found on the company's MacBook Air and Pro laptops. Additional other sources suggest that the move is not only to save space inside the phone, but to also cut out third party accessory manufacturers who haven't sought Apple's approval. A new chip in both the phone and the cable could stop this from happening and ensure you buy Apple, or Apple approved. 

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