With a quad-core tablet in the Asus Eee Pad Transformer already out on the market and with quad-core smartphones likely on the way in February, it should come as no surprise to hear that hidden inside iOS 5.1 beta are references to quad-core iPhone and iPad chips which could mean that the Cupertino based company could be releasing a next-gen phone and next-gen tablet with a quad-core processor inside.
What has been found, courtesy of 9to5Mac, are references that come from a secret panel within the beta software that describe cores that are supported by Apple’s iOS hardware.
Here is how it breaks down:
Extremely reliable and knowledgeable people familiar with iOS’s inner workings explained to me that core references begin at “0.” For example: A single core device would be limited to ”/cores/core.0,” and a dual-core device would come in at ”/cores/core.1.” A “core.2″ (which is not referenced in iOS code) would be a triple-core processor according to this labeling method. iOS 5.1 beta 2 now includes core.3, a seemingly quad-core chip from Apple.
And while that reference can’t definitively prove that Apple’s next-generation hardware will have quad-core processors on board, it definitely leaves open the possibility of such a thing happening.
Keep in mind, Apple moved from a single-core processor in 2010, to a dual-core processor in the A5 in 2011 and if it were to follow the same pattern, a quad-core processor could be next to debut.
It especially makes sense when Apple’s competition already has a quad-core powered device on the market, with more to come.