Apple is preparing to release next-gen 4G LTE compatible iPhones and iPads in Japan next year, reports MacRumors (via Nikkei Business), which will be released on NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile operator.
According to the report, Apple and NTT DoCoMo have reached an agreement, and the LTE iPad 3 is set to launch next Summer, while the iPhone 5 will be released in the fall.
Apple has previously taken the stance that first-gen LTE chips are too power-hungry, and force design compromises that Apple is not willing to make, but now that 2nd-generation LTE chips are on the horizon, the idea of 4G LTE iOS devices is back on the table.
If the report is true, that means that Apple would enter a carrier agreement with NTT DoCoMo, which has not previously been one of Apple’s carrier partners.
It’s worth noting that Macotakara does not have a proven track record for these types of rumors, and even if the report is true, there’s no saying when such devices would launch in the U.S. and elsewhere.