Rumor: iPhone 5 may have quad-core processor based on Samsung Exynos 4

iPhone 5 concept
Samsung's quad-core processors may be the heart of the iPhone 5

Aside from a larger display and redesigned outer case, iPhone fans are wondering what the iPhone 5 might be hiding under the hood come autumn.

With competing Android smartphones stepping up their game by including quad-core processors, Apple is expected to offer the same with the iPhone 5 as well.

The most curious part about this week's quad-core rumors is where Apple might get its next processor - and at least one report claims it will be from an unlikely source.

That would be Samsung - Apple's onetime ally who's become more of a "frenemy" in recent months as the two battle over patents.

iPhone 5, Samsung mashup

If the rumors are true, the iPhone 5 may tap into Samsung's quad-core Exynos 4 architecture, which the company is already using for its flagship Galaxy SIII handsets sold overseas.

While this year's third-generation iPad souped up the graphics processing with a slightly updated A5X processor, the next iPhone is expected to be a much larger leap forward whose processor could be crowed A6 instead.

Quad-core processors are becoming commonplace with smartphones, and it's not only Samsung - HTC, LG and even Meizu have all launched quad-core handsets in Q2 2012.

The rest of the expected iPhone 5 features include a larger 4.0-inch display, 4G LTE data speeds, near-field communication (NFC) and a smaller dock connector, which are expected to be released alongside iOS 6 this fall.