New iPhone 5 chatter: 8-pin dock connector, Bluetooth 4.0 in iOS 6, Sharp ships screens this month

iphone 5 rumor concept prototype

If you’re keeping up to date on the latest “iPhone 5” rumors, then the news of today contains a couple more tidbits to add on to the list.

8-pin dock connector, improved design

First up: iLounge reports that the new, smaller dock connector expected to debut on the next iPhone will actually be an 8-pin connector, as opposed to the 19-pin and 16-pin versions we’ve heard about in the past. (The current dock connector has 30 pins.) One of iLounge’s sources says that the “male” part of the new 8-pin connector — the part you plug into the phone — will have pins on both sides, which would mean that no matter which way you plug it in, it will work, just like the MagSafe 2 power connector found on newer Mac laptops.

While we can’t find the will to care about the exact number of pins — though the number of pins does change the functionality of the connection — the ability to more easily plug in the phone for docking and charging would certainly be a welcome change — and a very Apple thing to do. We’re going with “likely,” at least for this part of the rumor.

iOS 6 support for Bluetooth 4

Also from iLounge: A source claims that iOS 6 will include support for Bluetooth 4 connectivity, which would allow and iPhone to connect with other Apple devices, like the third-generation iPad or the Macbook Air. As iLounge’s Jeremy Horowitz points out, this could even allow users to make calls from their iPad through a Bluetooth connection to their iPhone. Given that Bluetooth 4 is becoming standard on other Apple products, this too seems like a likely bet.

Sharp details screen shipments

This one is not a rumor: Takashi Okuda, president of Sharp Corp., told reporters during the company’s recent quarterly earnings call that shipments of the screen for the iPhone 5 “will start in August.” This is important because, according to Reuters, “Apple is planning a major product launch on Sept. 12.” That’s right — is. Apple blog iMore — which is known for having solid Apple sources — reported earlier this week that Sept. 12 is the launch date for the iPhone 5, a new iPod Nano, and the iPad Mini.

Based on a surprising flood of alleged iPhone components, the next iPhone is expected to have a 4-inch screen, a 30-percent size increase over the current 3.5-inch screen found on all earlier iPhone models. The screen will likely have the same width as the current iPhone display, but be slightly taller, giving it a 16:9 aspect ratio.

So there you have it: 8-pin, easy-to-use dock connector, Bluetooth 4 support in iOS 6, and Sharp is shipping screens. Excited yet?