iPhone 5 MagSafe Dock ConnectorNew photos acquired by French site Nowhereelse.fr show a much closer look at the iPhone 5’s shrunken dock connector. How many pins is it? That much isn’t clear. What’s interesting about the photo, though, is the metal ring inside the casing where the dock connector is.

While we can’t say with certainty what the metal casing entails, some have speculated Apple’s intention is to implement a MagSafe mechanism similar to what’s currently found in its Mac lineup. If true, users would have the ability to insert the charging cable in either orientation, making it easier to plug the device in. It’s the little things, right?

Over the past several months, multiple reports have suggested Apple is preparing to ditch its current 30-pin design, and replace it with something much smaller. How small — 19 pins, 9 pins, 8 pins — is still up for debate. The iPhone maker’s alleged September 12 event is a little over a month away, so we’ll know all the details soon.

As an aside: What’s also interesting about the new design — something I hadn’t noticed before, but others might have — is how the iPhone 5 doesn’t have a “stacked” appearance like the current iPhone 4/4S. Rather than using plastic on either side of the antenna band where the glass is encased, it looks like he iPhone 5 has two metal lips that essentially wraps around the materials. It’s a more svelte design that lends to the theory of the device being 18 percent thinner.

[via MacRumors]

iPhone 5 back volume - angled - assembled