09/12/2012 02:52 pm ET Updated Sep 12, 2012

iPhone Connector: iPhone 5 'Lightning' Dock Connector, Charger Introduced (PHOTOS)

Among the big changes to the iPhone 5 is Lightning, the connector that's used to charge the phone and transfer data between the device and a computer.

Since the iPhone was first released in 2007, all versions of the handset have used the same 30-pin dock connector that was introduced for the iPod nine years ago. But the iPhone 5, which Apple is claims "the world's thinnest smartphone," will use a brand-new 8-pin connector to charge and transfer data.

The Verge reports that the Lightning connector, which is reversible (there is no "upside down" when you're plugging it in), is 80 percent smaller than the connector we've all come to know and love (and buy accessories for) since it was first introduced in 2003.

Which begs the question: What about those millions of docks, speakers, alarm clocks and car chargers that people have accumulated over the last decade? "We're creating a bunch of accessories to help you with that," Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing told the crowd, according to Engadget's live blog.

Schiller added, according to BGR, that JBL, Bose, Bang & Olufsen and B&W are already designing new speakers for the iPhone 5.

For more about the iPhone 5, including features and photos of the new device, check out our big news page for Apple's September 12 event.

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