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Apple working on two iPad processors, report says

One of the greatest debates going into Apple’s next iPad launch is whether the tablet will have a dual-core or quad-core processing chip. There have been reports that Apple is planning to unveil its next tablet with a quad-core chip, but there have also been several reports that it will be opting for a revamped dual-core processor.

According to 9 to 5 Mac’s Mark Gurman, the confusion is easy to explain: Apple’s developing two chips.

Gurman said the blog has found evidence in the beta version of iOS 5.1 that “seem to indicate” the company is working on the development of two next-generation chips.

The A5x, which has been pictured in “leaked” photos that have found their way online, is assumed to be a madeover version of the current iPad chip with better graphics capabilities. The A6 would be a quad-core processor, which would — among other things — up the power on the tablet and allow users to switch between apps more quickly.

Gurman has some “purely speculative” reasons as to why Apple would be working on two chips. He said that the company could have been waiting to see which fit its next tablet better; may be planning to sell two models of the iPad; or may even be prepping to put the A5X into that smaller iPad that suppliers have said is in testing.

Related stories:

Air Force does an about-face with iPad order

Report: iPhone 5 may have a new dock connector

‘iPad 3’: What do consumers want most?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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