The Syco boss already has a new format "in development" to replace the talent show franchise, which launched in 2004.
"In a year's time we might say, 'Right, that's the end of The X Factor. Let's start something new'," the Daily Star quotes him as saying.
Of last year's ratings dip, the music mogul said: "I'd rather fall off the cliff on numbers than deteriorate slowly."
Cowell added: "We have something in development which could replace The X Factor. Most things in music, fashion or TV tend to be across a ten-year period.
"The great test of success is if you can transcend a decade. I believe we can do it again if we're prepared to be brave."
The 52-year-old, who quit the talent show last year to launch X Factor in the US, recently signalled his intention to return to the UK panel.
Meanwhile, Cowell has also backed 2011 judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and veteran Louis Walsh to return for a second year together.
An ITV spokesman said: "It is the UK's most popular entertainment show and we're looking forward to another great series."
> Gary Barlow to miss X Factor Judges' Houses due to baby's birth?