There were rumors that Apple would release the iPhone 5 with a smaller dock connector, and the company has proven the rumors to be true, with an 80% smaller one.
It's called "Lighting," and it's reversible.
"A lot has changed, and it's time for the connector to evolve. Our new connector is called Lightning. So we have Thunderbolt and Lightning," said Apple's Peter Schiller, talking about the device. The Thunderbolt has been referred to (by Apple) as the "fastest, most versatile I/O ever."
"Making iPhone 5 thinner and lighter required a pivotal change: replacing the 30-pin connector with something newer, smaller, and better," says Apple. "Introducing the Lightning connector. It features an all-digital, eight-signal design that’s significantly more durable than the 30-pin connector. Another brilliant feature of Lightning: It’s reversible. Which means there’s no wrong way to plug in the cable."
With the rumors of a smaller dock connector, there was concern about accessory compatibility, but Apple also said it has an adapter to convert existing dock connectors.
"Soon many iPhone accessories will be Lightning compatible," the company says. "But if you have one that depends on the 30-pin connector, you can still connect it to your iPhone 5. Simply use a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (sold separately)."