According to sources who talked exclusively to The Verge, Microsoft will add support for higher resolution screens, and beefier processors in an update later this year.

That update, which is said to be officially referred to as General Distribution Release 3 or GDR3 for Windows Phone will add support for new quad-core processors from the likes of Qualcomm and new screen resolutions and larger screen sizes in 5 inches. These reports peg this Windows Phone GDR3 update as arriving on new devices during the holiday season. Currently Windows Phone 8 only supports, screen resolutions up to 720p and single and dual-core processors manufactured by Qualcomm.

The scope and release of GDR3 stand in sharp contrast to what we’ve heard about the next major release of Windows Phone. Codenamed “Blue”, this upgrade –according to these same reports, wouldn’t be delivered until “early 2013” and would be much larger in its scope than Windows Phone GDR3. Windows Phone Blue would seek to bring the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 platforms closer together by taking design and operational cues from each other.

If true, Windows Phone GDR3 would give Microsoft’s device manufacturers and licensees the flexibility they need to compete with devices being offered by Android vendors. Due to its current limitations there are no Windows Phone devices that can compete with newer flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One. Both of these devices include 1080p screens and quad-core processors.

Nokia CEO Steven Elop told TechRadar that he didn’t see the absence of multi-core devices as a particular problem of the platform in March of last year, remaking that:

“You don’t need a quad-core phone unless you want to keep your hands warm in your pocket. We’re believers in the experience, so fine you have this camera density and you have that camera density. Let’s put the pictures side-by-side and we’ll show which ones are better.”

As preorders and sales of the Samsung Galaxy S4, and HTC One start soon and devices powered by the Windows Phone GDR3 update may not come until the end of 2013 –Windows Phone OEMs, including Nokia will have time to find out if that’s true.