iPhone 5S: SK Telecom says it's in talks with Apple for LTE-A model

Korea's SK Telecom says it is in negotiation with Apple about putting its LTE-Advanced technology into the next iPhone, believed to be the iPhone 5S. The 4G tech which offers double data speeds over even conventional LTE has already been launched in the country and the next iPhone - which could even be an iPhone 6 - is one of several compatible handsets the network claims to be launching this year.

Speaking to The Korea Times, an SK Telecom executive - who wished to remain anonymous - said: "SK Telecom is approaching Apple to put our LTE-A technology on the upcoming iPhone 5S. We are in the middle of negotiations."

The regional newspaper also reports sources saying that Apple intends to use Korea as a "litmus test" to gauge the marketability of LTE-A technology before making inroads into China. This sounds unlikely to us, and doesn't sound much like an Apple strategy. It generally either puts a technology into its devices or holds off until it believes it to be ready for public consumption. Just take NFC, which is still to be included in an Apple smartphone or tablet.

However, the SK Telecom executive sayes Apple has nothing to lose by adding LTE-A technology on its next handset. "There's no reason for Apple not to use the LTE-A technology," he is quoted as saying.