iPhone 5 mini dock USB cable photo leaked

The next generation in Apple USB connector cables has appeared in a relatively clear photo presented to the world hoping for every detail they can get on the iPhone 5 – another piece of Apple hardware that's not yet even been announced by the manufacturer. Rumors up to this point have converged on a new dock connector for the new iPhone, a newly improved iPad 3, and an iPad mini, each of them with the same port for a 16-pin cord. This cord appears to have two sides, each of them with 8 pins that are able to face upwards or downwards interchangeably.

The photo appears to show a scannable code for the USB connector end of the cord and a brand new (familiar) connector on its opposite end. This cord doesn't appear to be a standard length, strangely enough, or it certainly doesn't seem to match the length of the cords currently appearing in iPhone and iPad boxes in stores at this moment. Because of this, we're going to go ahead and guess that this is a 3rd party component cord leaked from a manufacturer who has Apple's plans well in advance of the final reveal.

Apple's 30-pin connector is not restricted to construction by Apple alone at the moment, appearing in connection kits of all kinds across the Apple-loving accessory spectrum. You're currently able to head out to your local department store and pick up a wide variety of 3rd party iPhone, iPad, and iPod connection cords, so a future cord made by a group other than Apple is certainly within the realm of possibility.

This cord's abilities are as unconfirmed as the technology is in and of itself, but tips and rumors are abundant. What we're assuming at the moment is that this cord will clip in to the device but with much less of a hard snap than the 30-pin connectors of the past. With this new technology presented by Apple, this cord will be much closer to the MagSave connectors currently working on the MacBook Pro – if you trip on the cord, it'll pop out – that's always been genius, and it's high time Apple brought it in to their mobile device lineup.

Have a peek at our iPhone 5 portal for all the tips and rumors you could possibly want and head to the timeline below to see recent bits of news on the connector specifically – this one's either one of the best hoaxes we've ever seen, or it's verging on reality. Soon!

[via iLounge]