iPad 3, iPhone 5 with LTE? Not so fast, carrier says

You might want to hold off on your LTE iPad celebration.

Last week, reports from Nikkei Business indicated that Apple was trying to bring an LTE model of the iPad to Japan by summer 2012, and an LTE iPhone later in the year. But those claims have been denied by the rumored carrier, NTT DoCoMo. In a statement to 9to5Mac, the company said it’s not carrying the iPhone or iPad, and is not in concrete negotiations with the company.

Now, it could be that the carrier is reluctant to tip its hat about any negotiations while they’re still in progress, but it’s a fairly definitive statement if taken at face value.

LTE connectivity is one of the most wished-for features for iPhone owners, according to a recent study from ChangeWave Research. Consumers have made similar statements about the iPad, which also lacks the super-fast connection. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Verizon iPhone launch that LTE chips would have required too many design compromises; others have speculated that LTE would be too taxing on the phone’s battery life.

Features aside, the most important speculation surrounding the next generation of the iPad is the release date, which — according to Apple’s regular schedule — is expected in March 2012.

But Apple hasn’t been adhearing to its normal schedules, leaving gift-buyers trying to decide what to do in order to avoid gadget buyers’ remorse after the holidays. There have been few clues on that front. A recent report from the Wall Street Journal said that Sharp Electronics was producing screens for the next iPad, but only gave an estimated launch date of “sometime next year.”

Related stories:

The Verge: iPhone 5 rumor mill spins anew

iPhone 5 rumors start up again

Report: iPad 3 will be thicker; bigger iPhone screen?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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