iPhone 5: 8-pins good; 30-pins bad

Apple's rumored mini Dock Connector for the iPhone 5 and other future iOS devices takes a simple approach to a common problem, it's reported: figuring out which way to plug it in. Believed to not only slim down in comparison to the existing, 30-pin connector, but support being connected with the port facing either direction, the new version will take a straightforward path and simply double-up on its pins.

That means, while the connector itself will essentially be an 8-pin one, the plug will have twice that amount, so iLounge's sources claim. The female side – i.e. on the iPhone, iPad or iPod – will have eight, and either way the plug is inserted a connection will be made.

This new detail could explain why some rumors have indicated the new Dock Connector will be a 16-pin port, with a casual glance unlikely to explain that each active connection has two pins apiece. It's also the best argument against Apple using regular microUSB in favor of its own, unique connection: microUSB, like the existing large Dock Connector, can only be inserted in one way.

Previous leaks have indicated that Apple will use the new style of port to introduce more stringent authentication for third-party accessories. Unlicensed add-ons for iOS products would be locked out altogether, so the sources claim, with a special chip at each end of the connection handling identification.