According to Reuters, Apple allegedly finalized the design of its next generation processor for iOS devices, tentatively called Apple A6. Early production trials have already started, with the help of Taiwanese TSMC, ahead of a 2012 launch. While the move is a major blow to Samsung, the sole supplier of A4 and A5 processors thus far, it does not come as a surprise, as Samsung increasingly became a threat to Apple over the last couple of years, with products such as the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab. As a result, both companies are currently involved in multiple infringement lawsuits. The Apple A6, based on the ARM Cortex architecture just like its predecessors, could offer dramatic performance levels, thanks to a quad-core architecture. Thanks to this new chip, the third generation iPad and sixth generation iPhone will see their raw processing power double, which should increase their performance, especially in heavy multi-tasking situations. The new processor will also help Apple better compete against the high performance smartphones and tablets expected to be released later this year. Everything’s not lost for Samsung though, as the Korean giant will remain one of Apple’s largest subcontractors, and will supply components such as the NAND Flash memory chips used in iOS devices.