Apple doing a proper 4G handset will shoot itself in the foot
Apple has become what it is by breaking the fundamentals of the operator model. Bundling, subsidies, etc are not the fundamentals in the financial model of a cellular network. VAS is.
Apple has built the iEmpire around its own VAS. The operator does not play or has an inferior role. The app is the king. The customer relationship is via iTunes, billing is through Apple, content is controlled via Apple, etc.
If it will release a fully compliant 4G handset it will surrender _ALL_ of that to the operator. 4G compliance means VAS model which works based on IMS, with the operator deciding in the PCRF function what services each handset will be allowed at any given time, recording service start stop via IMS and most importantly operator billing through IMS. Content is similarly via IMS, etc. Any service that may compete with an operator one can be denied at any given time via technical means as a part of the network standard.
Bye-bye iTunes content and billing, bye-bye Facetime and any other service potentially competing with the operator ones, bye bye.
Yeah, right. I do not see Apple playing ball with that. No way in hell. However, every app shipped via the App stores by iTunes and Android, every piece of content billed via iTunes and in-app billing erode IMS main business case as the basis of VAS/Content centric network.
Apple would be wise to stall and punt here with a HSPA+ handset. Doing a proper LTE handset today is clearly against its business interests and even Apple's market power will not be enough to finish off the delusional business ideas behind LTE by shipping a handset which uses LTE for access only and openly relegates the operator to a dumb bitshifter.