Though the claim comes from one of the more notoriously inaccurate sources, DigiTimes, the possibility is worth noting as Samsung's Exynos 4 architecture is rumored to be involved.
Sources in the industry speaking with DigiTimes (via AppleInsider) have reportedly been expecting the competition in the smartphone world to heat up around the adoption of quad-core processors as early as this year's holiday quarter.
HTC, Samsung, LG, and China's Meizu already have quad-core processors in their phones, leading industry sources to believe that indeed, Apple will have to include a new chip to stay competitive.
That new iPhone is largely expected to be released this fall.
While its competition is mostly using Qualcomm's dual-core technology (quad-core is forthcoming later this year), Apple is expected to use Samsung's Exynos 4 architecture as part of its custom line of chips.
The iPhone 4S currently runs the dual-core A5 (the new iPad runs with the A5X, which includes an upgraded graphics processor to handle its Retina Display). A quad-core iPhone would likely carry the A6 name.
Would the lack of a quad-core processor in Apple's next iPhone be detrimental to Apple's sales? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!