Based on the Japanese blog Macotakara report, Apple is preparing a release of both 4G LTE iPhone 5 and iPad 3 on NTT DoCoMo 2012 (world-leading mobile operator and provider of comprehensive mobility solutions for Japan and overseas markets).
NTT DOCOMO releases iPad 3 in the summer 2012 of next year and releases new iPhone 5 by autumn 2012 ( October ).
The timeframe for the new iPhone 5 seems to be right, as it will be about a year since iPhone 4S was released in October 14 2011.
The carrier’s president Kiyoyuki Tsujimura and vice president Takashi Yamada allegedly met with Apple CEO Tim Cook mid-November to discuss the deal. Rumors said that they agreed to sell both the next-gen iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
The Wall Street Journal reported mid-November that negotiations with carriers in Asia came to a standstill because Apple was requiring iPhone sellers to commit to too large a volume. Additionally, NTT DoCoMo wanted to control what software goes on users’ iPhones, a concession Apple was unwilling to make.
Apple doesn’t have a prior distribution agreement with NTT DoCoMo. Instead, the Cupertino, California designer of gadgets partnered with local carrier Softbank to sell the handset to customers in Japan. Beginning with iPhone 4S, Softbank’s exclusivity ended as Apple cut an agreement with au/KDDI. As you know, 9to5Mac yesterday discovered evidence pointing to a next-generation iPhone and iPad in the code of iOS 5.1 Beta, which was seeded to developers on Monday.
An iPhone 5,1 reference is of particular interest as it indicates a major iPhone update likely involving Apple’s A6 chip, designed in-house and believed to sport four ARM Cortex A15 processing cores and an unknown graphics core. An iPad 2,4 reference, which we also discovered in iOS 5.1 Beta code, implies a carrier variation, which could mean anything from a 4G LTE version to a GSM+CDMA dual-mode device to a Sprint iPad 2 or something completely new. In a somewhat related iPhone news, carrier China Unicom is said to be awaiting the final paperwork to begin selling iPhone 4S in China. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently finished testing the device, it passed the necessary wireless regulatory tests and is now certified for public consumption.
China, the 1.33 billion people market, recently overtook the United States to become the world’s leading market for smartphones. Accounting for twelve percent of Apple’s fiscal 2011 revenue, or about 15 billion dollars, China is becoming one of Apple’s key growth regions.