Rumours are surfacing that Apple will release two new 4G LTE enabled devices next year on Japan's major network NTT Docomo.
Nikkei Business (Japanese) reported that an iPad 3 and iPhone 5 are slated for release next year, with the iPad set to premiere in the summer, and the iPhone to follow in the fall.
Though missing out on the success of the iPhone 4S in October, the rumours follows NTT Docomo's plans to roll out its LTE infrastructure across Japan in the coming months and years.
The supposed fall release date of the iPhone 5 would put it just a year after its then-predecessor the iPhone 4S was released. Historically, this seems to tie in within the time frame of previous releases.
NTT Docomo is Japan's biggest network but so far they haven't been able to add the iPhone to their network, as they were unable to come to sufficient agreements with Apple. It had been suggested that the carrier wanted to bring existing popular applications to the device, but this caused a fracture in negotiations.
In previous statements, however, the carrier stated that they were still hoping to broker a deal.
At the moment, only Softbank and KDDI carry the iPhone, which has been a massive success for both networks.
However, NTT Docomo has dominated the LTE market so far, which released Samsung's LTE-enabled Galaxy SII LTE to their network in November.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is reported to have met with both the president and vice-president of NTT Docomo last month. Although NTT Docomo have not yet commented on the meeting, it's thought that the two companies were able to reach some agreement.
This follows reports that China's Unicom is preparing to introduce the iPhone 4S and is waiting for network access from the relevant authorities.
Update: NTT Docomo has released a statement denying their acquisition of the iPhone 5 or iPad 3, saying that they haven't made an agreement with Apple at all. We will just have to wait to see if there's any truth to these rumours.
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