That’s right we said it. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster (no not from the TV ones) has released quite an interesting set of predictions as to what Apple has in store for us in 2011 and it really lacks that game-changer that Apple has become famous for.
At the top of the list is the iPhone finally making its long awaited debut at Verizon, quite possibly around the March timeframe. There are even rumors that Apple could make the official announcement sometime this month, shortly after the conclusion of CES. The iPhone to Verizon is something that folks have been predicting for years and with the iPad already at Verizon and manufacturing signs pointing in the right direction it seems that at this point it’s all but a formality. There should be a large initial influx of folks picking up the Verizon iPhone in 2011, but I think it will be 2-3 years before we really know if 1)Verizon’s network can handle all the new load and 2)whether people renewing their contracts pick up the iPhone over Blackberry’s and all the Android smartphones that now rule Verizon.
And then after that it gets pretty dull. Not to say that the stuff isn’t nice or there is not a ton of stuff on it, there just isn’t that knock us over product this year and in an industry like this that’s ok. Apple isn’t going to change the way we live every time they release a new product, nobody’s that good not even Apple. So now that we have ranted enough about what they aren’t doing, let’s share with you what Gene Munster thinks they will do, he even included percentages to convey the likelyhood of each prediction happening.
- Verizon launch of the iPhone: Probability 95% (Q1)
- Mac App Store: Probability 100% (January 6)
- iTunes cloud services: Probability 90%
- iPad geographic expansion: Probability 100%
- iPad subsidies from carriers: Probability 80%
- OS X Lion/10.7: Probability 100% (Summer)
Munster also expects upgrades to the hardware around these parts of the year:
- iPhone (March quarter) –We are modeling for Apple to launch a CDMA version of the iPhone at Verizon in the March 2011 quarter. The fifth generation iPhone will likely ship this summer with NFC capability.
- iPad (Spring) –We believe the second generation iPad will launch in Spring 2011.
- Macs (uncertain) –We have moderate confidence that Apple will release redesigned MacBook Pros in 1H11 and redesigned iMacs in 2H11.
- iPods (Fall) –As usual, Apple should refresh its iPods in the fall.
Unless they surprise us again, that’s what Apple has in store for us this year, what do you think?