An LTE iPad 3 and iPhone 5 could be on the market within the next year according to the latest rumors from today. Nikkei Business is reporting that LTE 4G chips will debut on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo network starting this summer with the iPad 3, and then again in the fall with the next iPhone.

The Nikkei Business article point out that Tim Cook met with VPs at DoCoMo, and reached a “basic agreement for the next generation iPhone and iPad.”From the Google translation of Nikkei Business:

[quote]Apple is a condition that provides the right to sell the iPhone and iPad to DoCoMo, LTE networks commercially in December 2005 DoCoMo (the service name “Xi (Kurosshii)”) requires that adapt to, in response to this is NTT DoCoMo It seems so on. The communication capability of LTE for the iPhone and Apple iPad is the first time.[/quote]

Oh, it’s so on.

LTE is faster than 3G, obviously, but there’s still quite a few dead-zone areas in North America when it comes to 4G. Actually, the US is mostly an LTE deadzone. Here’s a map from the AT&T website.

By next year that gap will close, but on the whole, it still feels like LTE is way off from being widely adopted. Hell, I live in a metropolitan area, and about 15 percent of the time my cellular service drops down to EDGE. In a country like Japan, where LTE (4G) is widespread, this kind of deal makes sense, but for most of us, we won’t be taking advantage of full 4G for quite some time.

Image Credit: ChristopherO’Neill

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