If you’ve been keeping up with the latest in next-generation iPhone rumors, you know that the handset is expected to feature a new, smaller dock connector.

The speculation started with a report back in February of this year, and the revamped port has since been seen in a number of leaked next-gen iPhone parts

This morning, Reuters adds its weight to the theory:

“The iPhone 5, Apple’s next generation iPhone expected to go on sale around October, will come with a 19-pin connector port at the bottom instead of the proprietary 30-pin port “to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom”, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

That would mean the new phone would not connect with the myriad of accessories such as speakers and power chargers that form part of the ecosystem around iPods, iPads and iPhones, without an adapter.”

The story jibes with a previous report from TechCrunch, who also believes that Apple’s next smartphone will feature a 19-pin dock connector, and seems to confirm other claims that the headphone jack will be moved to the bottom of the device.

It’s also worth noting that a similar miniaturized dock connector has been spotted in a handful of purported leaked ‘iPad mini’ cases. And Apple was recently granted a patent┬áthat was based on reducing the size of a device’s charging port.

The sixth-generation iPhone is believed to already be in production in eastern China, and is expected to debut sometime this fall.

What are your thoughts on the smaller dock connector?

[9to5Mac]