We're still a ways from the next iPhone and iPad launches, but Nikkei is reporting that Apple is ready to bring LTE to its mobile devices next year. The publication claims Tim Cook met with executives at Japanese carrier NTT Docomo and agreed to launch the next iPad and iPhone on its LTE network, with the iPad launching in the summer and the iPhone following in the fall. This timeframe makes sense for the next iPhone, about a year after the iPhone 4S launch, but a summer iPad launch would break from the spring release we've seen for the last two years. However, the iPad has launched first in the US and later internationally in the past, so a spring release stateside isn't out of the question.

Apple hasn't historically been aggressive at adopting new cellular technology, preferring to value battery life over pure speed, but Qualcomm's next-generation 28nm chips should be available in Q2 of next year with LTE and HSPA+ on board. The iPhone 4S already uses Qualcomm chips, and the move to 28nm should be a major boon to battery life, making it a logical choice for Apple's next-generation devices. We'll see what happens — Cupertino certainly took its time going from the iPhone 4 to 4S.