Earlier this year, several sites passed along a report claiming that Apple was looking to ditch the 30 pin dock connector in favor of something smaller. It was said that we could see this new port as early as this year.

Since then, weve seen a number of purported iPhone 5″ part leaks that feature a noticeably-smaller charging port at the bottom. And now, TechCrunch says it has just confirmed the change.

TechCrunch reports:

Although the form factor and actual size are still unknown, TechCrunch has independently verified that Apple is working on adding a 19-pin port, replacing the current 30-in port, to the new iPhone. It is a move that will surly send shocks through the iPhone accessory ecosystem.

The new port, partially shown in this Mobilefun post as well as in this video, is similar in size to the Thunderbolt port available on many MacBook devices but Ive been told by three independent manufacturers that the pin-out will be different.
Its worth noting that TechCrunch has a fairly accurate track record in the Apple rumor business. Just before Apples WWDC event last week, the site spilled out some information regarding iOS 6.

It sounds like Apple is making the change due to size constraints more than anything. According to recent rumors, its trying to squeeze a larger screen and LTE compatibility into its upcoming iPhone, on top of making it 20% thinner.

Itll be interesting to see how consumers react to the smaller port, as it will make millions of iPhone accessories obsolete. Then again, this happens all the time in the mobile phone game, as design and technology continue to evolve.