Verizon iPhone a Virtual Lock for Q1

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One of the industry’s top analysts says there’s now a 95 percent chance that Verizon Wireless will offer a CDMA-compatible version of Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter of 2011.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray believes Verizon will sell at least 9 million of the devices in 2011, which would account for more than one-third of its smartphone activations overall.

Munster expects you’ll see upgrades to a bunch of Apple products this year, including:

  • iPad 2: will feature both a rear and a front-facing camera to accommodate video chat using Apple’s FaceTime application; also expected to be lighter and thinner than its predecessor and will become available in 100 additional nations
  • iTunes cloud services: Munster says there’s a 90 percent chance of this offering, which would square off with Google Music plans set to debut on Android smartphones.
  • Web services: will include more document-storage support in the cloud
  • iPhone 5: The latest version of the company’s signature device, Munster says, will debut sometime in the summer and will feature near-field communications, a technology specially designed to accommodate mobile payments.

Looking even farther into the future, the analyst believes Apple could become more of a player in the television arena by the end of 2012.

"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," Munster writes, “as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate," Munster noted.

Last, but not least, the analyst believes Apple will redesign its MacBook Pros and iMacs in 2011.

Sources:

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