TechCrunch claims to have “independently verified” that Apple’s new iPhone will have a smaller 19-pin connector.

In a new report, the technology website “confirms” that the rumoured mini dock connector will be making an appearance in Apple’s next-generation devices, “although the form factor and actual size are still unknown.”

At present, Apple’s iOS devices have a 30-pin dock connector, but that will be reduced to 19-pin in a “move that will surely send shocks through the iPhone accessory ecosystem,” says the report.

If the report proves to be correct, accessories manufacturers will need to launch redesigned docks for new Apple devices, and consumers will be required to purchase new gadgets such as speakers and sound systems that are compatible with the smaller connector. Many believe that Apple will come up with a simple adapter solution to get around this issue.

Apple’s 30-pin connector has been the standard for iOS devices since the third-generation iPod was launched in 2003. But several rumours, and alleged leaked parts for the next iPhone and iPad, point towards the retirement of the 30-pin for good.

Drawings of what is claimed to be the next iPhone have been leaked this week, also showing the smaller dock connector. The drawings picture a device that looks very much like the leaked backplate we’ve seen previously.

Should the drawings and leaked parts prove to be genuine, the next iPhone could have a metal back, a 4in display, a relocated earphone jack, and a thinner profile.