Even with the next iPhone hardware still so far off, we’re seeing clues uncovered that may very well hint at the capabilities of future iOS devices. After many analysts got the arrival of the iPhone 5 so wrong this past fall, it’s easy to dismiss these early rumors as unfounded. That might be the case if we were discussing hearsay, but today there’s some very real evidence available that looks like it could point to the arrival of quad-core processors in Apple’s gear.
Like the discovery earlier this year of compiler support for the quad-core Armada XP, this find comes to us thanks to files Apple itself provided to developers. In the iOS 5.1 beta code, there a specific bit that handles multi-core system management. The code refers to single-core systems as core.0 and the dual-core A5 as core.1. While there’s no mention of core.2, there is an entry for an unknown chip that’s a core.3 device; logic follows that we’re likely talking about a quad-core component.
Ultimately, though, all this shows is Apple setting-up a framework for the continuing evolution of iOS. With the first quad-core smartphones set to land this year, the technology is clearly going to be part of the future of smartphones, and Apple could be doing nothing more than preparing for further down the line. Maybe quad-core won’t hit iOS until the iPhone 6 or 7, but it sure does look like something that Apple’s been putting some thought into.