For the incredulous, yes, there is shorter way to sync your iPhone. It is as simple as having a short USB cable for the iPhone. It is just like the original 30 pin connector but the cable measures only 8cm. I needed an extra cable to sync or charge mi iPhone and bumped into this little beauty on eBay. For a fraction of what Apple charges, £3 in my case, now I have an extra cable that doesn't add to the clutter.
I'm considering getting a second short cable to leave it inside the neoprene sleeve I use when I carry my macbook. I think I can wait until I get home to sync my iPhone, but better than this, it is really handy to charge your iPhone if you are taking your laptop with you. When I find a power socket, I plug my laptop and have my iPhone charging with the mini iPhone cable.
I suspect the one I got from eBay is a hack from an original one. It looks very similar to the other two official ones I have.I'm very happy with it and recommend it's purchase fot the price of an iPhone app. I don't endorse any shop, there are many on eBay easy to find.