By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 3, 2011

Piper Jaffray’s top Apple analyst offers his annual product predictions

Apple (AAPL) is unlikely to break into any new hardware categories in 2011, according to a note to clients issued Monday by Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster. But that doesn’t mean the company won’t have a busy year.

Here’s what he sees as the major announcements of 2011:

  • 95% probability: Launch of a Verizon (VZ) iPhone (before the end of March)
  • 100%: Launch of the Mac App Store on Jan. 6 (this Thursday)
  • 90%:  iTunes cloud services (through Apple’s new server farm in North Carolina)
  • 100%:  iPad geographic expansion (i.e. more countries)
  • 80%: Carrier subsidies for the iPad
  • 100%: Launch of OS X Lion (summer 2011)

Also on tap, he says, are the iPad 2 (spring), a fifth-generation iPhone (summer), refreshed iPods (fall) and probably some new MacBook Pros and iMacs in the first and second half of the year, respectively.

One more thing:

“For over a year,” Munster writes, “we have believed that Apple will enter the television market by the end of CY12 at the earliest. While Apple’s commitment to the living room remains a “hobby,” we continue to believe the company will enter the TV market with a full focus, as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate. We also expect Apple to increasingly focus on web services that leverage its connected device ecosystem (i.e. iTunes cloud service, MobileMe, etc.).”

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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