iPhone 5 'Lightning' USB 3 dock connector & 13in MacBook Pro with Retina to be unveiled


With about two hours to go until everything iPhone 5 is finally revealed over in California, the name of Apple’s new generation handset might still be considered marginally debatable in some circles, but it seems like the mystery of the incredible shrinking dock connector may have been solved.

Of course, it has been widely acknowledged for a while now that the new iPhone is highly likely to feature a smaller dock connector. In fact, it’s one of the more certain bits of speculation present in our iPhone 5 rumour roundup. But until today, we’ve had no idea what size the new socket was actually going to be: the traditional 30-pin port was being ditched, but whether the replacement would be a 19-pin, 9-pin, or even 8-pin connector was about as predictable as rolling dice in a hurricane.
The dying hours of the pre-iPhone 5 era appear to have revealed all, however, with popular fanboy site 9to5Mac venturing that the new feature is to be a 9-pin, USB 3-supporting dock connector dubbed ‘Lightning.’ It’s all very plausible: the moniker would fit nicely with the ‘Thunderbolt’ tag attached to the new-gen ultra-fast Mac connectors. Increasingly certain as well is the christening of Apple’s new generation handset – according to search engine leaks nabbed by the same site, it will indeed be named the iPhone 5, as opposed to one of the alternatives.
Elsewhere, sources in the Far East have reignited speculation that a 13in Retina display MacBook Pro may form a central part of today’s big Apple unveil. Such a device has been tipped as far back as WWDC 2012, but the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 – not to mention the possibility of a 7in iPad mini – has grown so intense in recent months that the potential new Retina notebook has been relegated to also-ran status. However, Taiwanese daily tech newspaper DigiTimes claims that the 13in Retina device is back on the agenda, saying that sources in Apple’s upstream supply chain have reported that the new MacBook Pro model will start shipping in September – just in the time for the lucrative back-to-school shopping season in the US.
Finally, the iPhone 5 isn’t just set to fascinate consumers following its imminent launch – it could, according to analysts from JP Morgan, also revive the US economy. Projecting that some 8 million iPhone 5 units could ship in Q4, the financial number runners have ventured that Apple’s frenzy-inducing new handset could boost America’s GDP by some $3 billion (£186 billion) – resulting in overall growth of 0.33 per cent with regards to the country’s gross domestic product. iPhone 5 as the saviour of a beleaguered nation – now there’s a campaign talking point for Messrs Obama and Romney.

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