The latest evidence that Apple is ready to abandon its iconic dock connector in favor of a smaller solution comes in the form of a reference to a 9-pin connector in the code for iOS 6 beta.
The code string was uncovered by 9to5Mac and directly conflicts with several other reports of the possible size of a smaller dock connector. Reports of the number of pins in have ranged from to (or simply retaining the 30 it currently sports).
Important to keep in mind is the fact that iOS 6 is still in beta, which means code strings can be added and taken out on a whim as Apple and developers continue to test the software. Whether the code, 00002d9c t_copyDeviceSupports9Pin, means that Apple is ready to ship an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (Mini?), or any other iOS device with a smaller dock connector is left up to speculation.
It is likely, though, that Apple is, at the very least, testing a device that has a smaller dock connector.
A new dock connector would be a major change for Apple's mobile devices and for manufacturers that produce cases and dock connector-compatible devices. Should Apple switch to a smaller dock connector? If Apple does ship the new iPhone with a smaller dock connector, should it include a dock connector adapter to support 30-pin devices? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!