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When it comes to mobile news, one thing which unites all of these smartphones and tablets is the fact that they will be running the Android operating system.

The next generation of smartphones are currently in development and the big news is that they are going to feature quad-core processors which increase the number crunching power available on individual handsets by a significant margin.

Chip manufacture Nvidia recently launched its Tegra 3 processor and this is the quad core CPU which will be helping to fuel the growth of next-gen mobiles. At the moment it is not known which company will bring the first quad core handset to the market, but there are a number of contenders.

The HTC Edge is thought to be the handset to watch because early leaked images suggest that it is already relatively advanced in the development process. It will reportedly have four physical cores on its processor, each one running at 1.5GHz. This may not mean much to you without some context, but in essence this is twice the number of cores as is currently available on market-leading models like the Samsung Galaxy S2. This is not going to directly translate into twice the power, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

To go with its new processor the HTC Edge will feature a 4.7 inch touchscreen display that will have a native high definition resolution. It will also have 1GB of RAM to let the processor stretch itself, although more RAM might make an appearance so as not to act as the bottleneck within the system itself.

Industry insiders are confident that there is going to be a bit of an arms race amongst rival manufacturers in order to see who can get their quad core smartphone onto store shelves ahead of the pack. Amongst the frontrunners are Samsung, LG, Motorola and PC manufacturer Asus, which actually had its tablet computer the Eee Pad Transformer Prime make its debut alongside the Tegra 3 chip in November.

One thing which unites all of these smartphones and tablets is the fact that they will be running the Android operating system. It is clear that Google`s platform is the most conducive to technological advancement because it is open to manipulation by individual manufacturers and there are no restrictions on the type of hardware you can use to power it. On the other hand Microsoft`s Windows Phone 7 has strict guidelines which means there are not even any dual core powered handset running it on the horizon at the moment. Apple has only recently gone dual core with the iPhone 4S, although like its predecessors the company has chosen to keep the clock speed lower than you might expect, so it is not trying to directly compete with Android.

It looks like the best Android phones of 2012 will likely have quad core processors. All that the manufacturers need to do is convince the public that this extra power is going to be put to good use in enhancing their mobile experience.

Photo: jjj