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Summary:

Apple might have quad-core iPhone and iPad devices coming in 2012, according to some code discovered deep in Apple’s iOS 5.1 pre-release software on Friday. This discovery adds fuel to the fire surrounding rumors the iPad 3 will boast a quad-core A6 processor.

apple-a5-feature

Apple's A5, manufactured by Samsung.

Apple might have quad-core iPhone and iPad devices coming in 2012, according to some code discovered deep in Apple’s iOS 5.1 pre-release software on Friday. We’ve been hearing a lot about the possibility of a quad-core A6, successor to the A5 processor that currently powers iPhone 4S and iPad 2 devices, but now there’s reason to believe those new processors are being actively tested.

The iOS 5.1 beta contains references to quad-core chips in a hidden system panel that describes core configurations supported by iOS software, according to 9t05Mac. In the latest beta, it’s been updated to include a reference to “/cores/core.3″, which follows “/cores/core.0″ and /cores/core.1″,  references to single and dual-core devices, respectively. A “core.2″ designation is skipped, which would represent a triple-core processor according to the naming system.

Apple is thought to be testing the iPad 3 and possibly a next-gen iPhone on the iOS 5.1 beta, which could mean those devices are packing a quad-core processor, although it’s also possible these references are related to a much more distant release. But since Android phones with quad-core processors are already making their debuts, and quad-core Android tablets have already hit the market, it does seem likely Apple would want to anticipate the wider uptake of that tech in its 2012 mobile lineup.

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  1. ☆ Trevor Gerzen ☆ Friday, January 6, 2012

    I would think that because of the power drain that a processor would take that is double what the 4S is right now this might not be for this year. I’m noticing that my brand new 4S’s battery life is not much better than the Android phone I had for 2 years. For some reason it’s been easier for my to manage the charging of it and all that but it’s noticeably worse than the previous iPhones.

    I’m hoping that 5.1 can have a (relatively) significant effect on this but I don’t know how much they can do with a point software release. I guess we’ll have to wait and see

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