updated 10:50 pm EST, Thu February 23, 2012
Rumor has Apple nearing dock rethink
Apple's possible plans to rework the dock connector for iOs devices might be edging closer to reality. A rumor relayed to iMore had Apple "getting ready" to switch to a smaller port. The tip had it being a strictly technology-driven move to save space in the iPhone and other instances where room was at a premium.
When and how the port would shrink was left open. The 2012 iPhone was seen as possible target, but more as the the most likely to benefit from a smaller connector than out of inside knowledge. The iPad doesn't have as pressing a need given its size.
While far from confirmed, the rumor comes from a site that may have accurately locked in a March 7 iPad event based on corroborating reports. Apple is also known to have filed for a patent on a smaller, faster dock port that could improve sync speeds and allow for extra features with the extra bandwidth. It isn't likely to use exotic technology like Thunderbolt to sync, but it could be designed with anticipation of USB 3.0 on Macs.
The dock has become less essential to Apple than it has in the past, now that cloud and Wi-Fi syncing have reduced the need to physically attach to a computer. Accessories would still need it, however, and there may be an upset if companies need to redesign accessories or introduce adapters.