iPhone 5 dumping Dock Connector for 'chipped' Micro MagSafe?

I assumed that the smaller charging port on the bottom of recent iPhone 5 leaks was a Micro USB port but Apple might not dump its lucrative licensing business so quickly after all.

Apple's ThunderBolt cable is also chipped - Jason O'Grady

It looks like I might have started dancing a jig a little prematurely. After seeing the new, smaller opening on the bottom of some leaked iPhone 5 components, I assumed that Apple was dropping the venerable Dock Connector port on its iOS devices in favor of the Micro USB standard.

Well, I might be wrong.

Terry Flores noted in the comments that Micro USB isn't 19-pins (as TechCrunch confirmed the new port on the iPhone 5 is). MobileFun notes that the new connector on the iPhone 5 is "much smaller, similar in size to micro USB."

In a comment under the TechCrunch post, Robert Scoble throws water on my Micro USB theory.

Scoble quotes an engineer "working in the phone world" as saying that Apple is moving from the Dock Connector to a MagSafe-like magnetic latch (like the one on the MacBook Air and Pro) -- and even worse than the Dock Connector it replaces -- the new cable will "include chips to verify licensing of accessories to be used with the devices" (like Apple's current Thunderbolt cable, pictured above). His source goes on to explain that "there is a chip in both ends of the new power supply that ensure that it is an official device."

Dear Lord.

If this pans out, it means that instead of embracing a worldwide standard for syncing and charging smartphones (Micro USB) Apple will adopt an even more expensive and even more proprietary port and cable to protect its highly lucrative "Made For iPhone" (MFi) licensing program.

I'm not thrilled that it's still proprietary and it'll certainly be expensive, but the MagSafe part is a good idea. Or isn't it?

What the heck will Apple do in the EU? Include another dongle?

Photo: iFixIt

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