When Apple unveils the sixth-generation iPhone later this year, it will likely be priced similar to previous iPhone models. This doesn’t mean, however, that it will cost you the same price overall.

First launched in October, the iPhone 4S offers the same form factor as the iPhone 4, which arrived nearly two years ago. The same can be said for the new iPad, which looks quite similar to the iPad 2.

But change is in the air.

In the next nine months, Apple will likely release both a new iPhone and a new iPad. Both iDevices will look quite different than each of their predecessors. Because of this, each of us could be spending more overall for both iDevices and here’s why.

If rumors are correct, the next iPhone will include a “new way of charging the phone.” As such, the current 30-pin dock connector will go away. In its place will likely be a smaller version of the iOS device syncing and charging port. This new dock, which will replace the one Apple has been using for nearly a decade, is expected to extend across its entire product line, which also includes the iPod touch.

This change would mean, for example, the need for new external speaker docks, battery cases, and additional cables and docks. Even on-the-road accessories like car chargers, GPS systems, and cradles would be affected.

mophie juice pack air® - iPhone 4 & 4S Battery Case

mophie juice pack air® - iPhone 4 & 4S Battery Case

Of course, this says nothing about the need for new cases, whether it is Apple’s relatively inexpensive Bumper case ($29) or Otterbox’s popular Defender Series cases, which start at $59.95 for the iPhone or $89.95 for the iPad.

In other words, while accessory makers will see Apple’s new product launches as great news for their bottom line, customers will be the ones digging a little bit more from their pocketbooks.

Now, if you’re like me and use a new iDevice purchase as an excuse to buy new accessories (regardless of whether your current accessories work) this might not be such a big deal. However, for those on a tight budget, Apple’s changes could prove costly.

You’ve been warned.

What type of accessories do you anticipate replacing with your next iDevice purchase?

Photo: LA Times