Thanks to a reference code found inside the beta version of iOS 5.1
it appears as though the next generation versions of both the iPhone and the iPad could be replacing their dual-core processors with quad-cores.
It is believed that the core references Apple uses begins with the number 0 and therefore the single-core processors found in previous iOS devices were referred to as /cores/core.0. The dual-core A5 processors that are currently being used inside of the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 are referenced with the code /cores/core.1. The code in question here is /cores/core.3
which would be used to reference a quad-core processor
when following the pattern. As you can see they skipped the reference code /cores/core.2 which would have more than likely been a triple-core processor.
It isn’t a definite that the next iPhone and iPad will have these quad-core processors. Will they have them eventually? They absolutely will especially if they plan on keeping up with Android and the fact that they have quad-core tablets available already available and quad-core smartphones on the horizon. The only question is, will the next major release of iOS be optimized for quad-cores? Only time will tell.
source: 9 to 5 Mac