While the dock connector is hardly a part that takes up a lot of room inside Apple’s handsets, anything that can be shrunk leads to a bigger something else, or an extra something else - in this case, an LTE chip.
iMore claims to have heard from its own sources that “Apple is getting ready to ditch the dock connector as it’s currently sized and implemented on iPods, iPhones, and iPads.”
The reason: “to save space inside the iPhone 5 for what are now more important components […] like battery and LTE radios.”
The blog appropriately points out to similar scenarios in the past, such as Apple putting the iPhone 4’s antenna on the outside of the device, or the switch from a regular SIM card to a micro SIM.
But there may be a more important reason why Apple might eventually shrink the dock connector, and it’s not to make room for other parts.
The next iPhone is widely rumored to be completely different from an aesthetic point of view. In fact, if Apple launches the iPhone 5 with a similar design to that of the 4S, that would make three phones in a row that look the same.
Considering how much the iPhone sells based on looks, Apple simply can’t afford not to innovate on this particular aspect.
And the next step to altering the iPhone’s design, most experts agree, is to make it teardrop-shaped, or at least tapered around the edges (much like the original iPhone, but thinner). Which means at least the top and the bottom are likely to get thinner.
A thinner bottom would undoubtedly lead to a redesigned dock connector, as the current one fills up the depth of the iPhones almost entirely.