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New iPhone 5 dock dubbed Lightning, earbuds now Earpods

The new nine-pin iPhone 5 dock connection is set to be called Lightning, while expected new earphones are to be named Earpods.

Thunderbolt and Lightning, very, very frightening... the new, smaller iPhone 5 dock connection is set to be called Lightning. Oh, and expected new earphones are set to be named Earpods.

The new smaller dock connector is a cut-down version of the dock socket that connects your phone to your computer, charger, or iPod dock. Leaked reports suggest the new dock will boast just nine pins instead of the current 30, freeing space for the headphone socket to move to the bottom of the new phone -- just one of the many space-saving measures that fits a bigger battery and 4G technology into a slimmer case for the new iPhone.

The name Lightning, as reported by 9to5Mac, complements the ultra-fast connection on Macs and Mac accessories, which is named Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt was revealed in February 2011 and allows for dizzyingly fast transfer of data from Mac to monitor, hard drive or other peripherals.

The amount of data Thunderbolt can handle is vastly greater than that required by an iPhone or iPad, although they do transfer much bigger photo and video files than when the 30-pin connector was introduced.

So Lightning suggests that the iPhone and iPad will zap data from phone to computer and back at hair-ruffling speeds -- and let's hope the battery charges just as fast. 

The downside of the new Lightning connection is that existing docks and cables will be obsolete. But Apple is planning two different adaptors to help your new iPhone work with your current kit. One adaptor simply clips onto the phone and the other has a short cable. 

The rumoured new earbuds are set to be called Earpods. They'll go on sale for the same price as the current version -- here's hoping they're both more comfortable and less leaky than the ones you get in the box now.

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