Here is an interesting theory: the new dock connector in Apple's next iPhone could be a 19-pin port that would be mechanically and electrically compatible with the microUSB standard. I don't know what it would be like, but I love the idea.
The theory is that Apple would have engineered this new dock connector in order to comply with the European Union directive to standardise chargers around microUSB. This would make the iPhone compatible with the standard set by the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI, as well as by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform.
At the same time, such a custom design would be able to do all the things that Apple and third-party manufacturers need for iPhone and iPod peripherals. That includes hardware controls, digital data, audio, video and power.
If this is true, it would be good news for consumers. They would be able to use any microUSB mobile phone charger and they would be able to keep their current peripherals working with the new iPhone by using an adaptor like the one imagined by Italian blog Mela.