Apple may be preparing for an LTE-based iPad 3 to launch by summer of next year and an LTE-based iPhone 5 to arrive by fall, if a new report from Nikkei Business is to accurate. The story claims that Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has reached an agreement with Apple to distribute the next-gen devices on this schedule, which suggests that device would arrive worldwide on a similar time frame.
According to the report, NTT DoCoMo’s president Kiyoyuki Tsujimura and VP Takashi Yamada met with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this month to work out the deal. The execs had reportedly reached agreeable terms, although previous reports from the WSJ suggested that Apple’s demand for a large sales volume commitment and its refusal to allow the carrier to add its own apps to the device had stalled the discussions.
Although the largest carrier in Japan, NTT DoCoMo has not had a previous distribution agreement with Apple, which has instead been selling its handsets through rival carrier Softbank. However, Softbank’s exclusivity with Apple ended with the iPhone 4S and Apple has since signed up carrier KDDI.