Apple's not resting on its laurels in 2011 but it might be tough to top the iPad, iPhone 4, and second-generation Apple TV and MacBook Air in the new year. Apple has lots of things on its 2011 roadmap but the problem is that there's no clear breakout product on the list -- like the iPad was in 2010.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has weighed in with his predictions on what Apple has in store for 2011:
- 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)
Here's when Munster expects upgrades to the hardware:
- 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.
So if that's 2011... what's in store for 2012? Munster thinks that Apple will launch more innovative web services, and maybe, a television. (Hmm, that sounds familiar...)
Sure the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 are coming, but what if they've already seen their biggest pops when they launched in 2010? There's a real risk that this year's iPad and iPhone and could turn out to be the same dog food, reheated. But I doubt it.
The iPad 2 will sell amazingly well because there's lots of pent up demand for the device. I have a hunch that a lot of people passed on the current iPad as a "1.0 product." I personally know dozens of people who are "waiting for version 2." Personally, the "better speakers" rumor is mostly lost on me because I mostly use my iPad with headphones, but a better screen (if not Retina) and a thinner, lighter form-factor would make a compelling upgrade. Carbon fiber, please!
As for the CDMA/Verizon iPhone -- it's been rumored for so long that people are already expecting it. It may need to have dual-core, 4G and NFC to even get noticed in the technology typhoon known as CES. But here too, there's a lot of pent up demand and the CDMA iPhone will certainly make a big splash.
But other than iOS devices, do upgraded MacBooks and iMacs really have an sizzle left? Sure Mac OS 10.7 should be a nice upgrade, but make no mistake about it, 2011 will be all about iOS. Tip: BusinessInsider