A prototype case allegedly showing Apple's new connector.
The next iPhone is set to cost Apple users more than the price of a shiny new handset with confirmation the California tech firm will render all accessories obsolete by introducing a new connector.
An application filed with the US Patent Office seems to confirm rumours the upcoming iPhone 5 will discard the 30-pin connector in favour of a smaller 19-pin connector.
The patent application describes "power adapters for powering and/or charging peripheral devices", believed to be the rumoured iPhone 5 connector.
The move to a new port would mean the vast number of Apple accessories currently in circulation, including docking stations and speaker systems, would need to be replaced unless adapters are made available.
Photos in circulation among technology media sites purporting to be a prototype case for the iPhone 5 are believed to show the new connector, which looks similar in size to a mini USB port.
It is believed to have a triangle-shaped wedge at one end preventing it from being plugged in the wrong way.
Apple earlier this year advertised for staff to design an "appropriate connection technology" for future products.
"This will often involve adaptation of existing connectors or complete new designs," the company said.