Apple will unveil its sixth-generation, quad-core ARM processor powered iPhone in the second half of 2012, according to reports.

DigiTimes claims that the introduction of a quad-core iPhone will trigger an increase in quad-core smartphone competition in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The report cited industry sources, who claim that Qualcomm plans to begin volume production of its quad-core integrated platform solutions in the second half of 2012, enabling more vendors to bring out quad-core models. HTC, Samsung and LG have already launched quad-core smartphones, the sources noted.

The new iPhone, whpossibly named the iPhone 5 or scrapping the numbers altogether to become just iPhone, could be built on Samsung’s Exynos 4 quad-core processor, according to the sources.

The latest model of Apple’s smartphone, the iPhone 4S, has an A5 dual-core processor, the same chip found in the iPad 2. The third-generation iPad has a A5X chip, in which the CPU is dual-core, but the GPU is quad-core in order to power the graphics on the tablet’s Retina display.

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