It's being reported that Apple intends to drop the long-running standard connector port from its next iPhone in favour of something smaller. This would free up more room in and on the device, but would also render hundreds of peripherals obsolete in the process.
What marks this rumour out is the source, which is a good deal more authoritative than most reports of this type. According to Reuters, no less, "Apple's next generation iPhone... will come with a 19-pin connector port at the bottom instead of the proprietary 30-pin port."
It cites two sources familiar with the matter as explaining that the move is intended "to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom."
As the news agency astutely points out, this move would render the vast majority of speakers, chargers and other dock-based peripherals sold over the past five years defunct overnight. That is, unless some sharply designed adapters can be cooked up, not least by Apple itself.
Of course, this bad news for customers is actually very good news for manufacturers, some of whom have seen the likes of iPhone speaker dock sales slowing over recent years.
In truth this change has been predicted for some time now. As components shrink and power connector standards improve, Apple's solution is starting to look a little clunky and inefficient. The microUSB standard adopted by virtually all new Android devices, for example, is considerably more compact while offering superior power transfer capabilities.
It seems a change of connector is necessary for Apple - even if it may be a -painful transition for long-term iPhone owners.