Apple is in talks with several Japanese mobile service companies, including NTT DoCoMo and SoftBank Mobile in its search for a network partner for a Japanese launch of the device.

Reports from Reuters and the Wall Street Journal confirmed the discussions, noting that carriers in Japan seemed unhappy at the revenue-sharing figures proposed by the firm. However, the market success of the device so far means carriers are likely to take on some element of the Apple deal.

Furthering the deal, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly met with DoCoMo president, Masao Nakamura. DoCoMo is Japan's leading network with 53 per cent of the mobile market there.

However, the prevalence of 3G in Japan has led some analysts to speculate that Apple plans to release a second model iPhone that integrates 3G support.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson revealed a 3G iPhone would appear in 2008 during a meeting last month.