Analyst: NFC Enabled iPhone Coming in 2011

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster isn’t waiting for 2011 to get away from him.

On Monday morning, the prominent industry analyst got a jump start on the year ahead with some bold predictions for the tech world.

According to Munster, this will be the year that NFC technology finally “arrives” in the US, most likely as a result of Apple infusing near-field communication technology into its forthcoming fifth generation iPhone.

“We are modeling for Apple to launch a CDMA version of the iPhone at Verizon in the March-11 quarter. The fifth generation iPhone will likely ship this summer with NFC capability,” Munster writes.

Although Apple saw great success in 2010 with the introduction of the iPad, Munster says Apple will probably not enter any new product categories this year. Instead, the company is expected to fully concentrate its efforts on improving existing product lines and individual products that will be refreshed throughout the coming months.

Within two to four years, however, Munster estimates that Apple may be ready to tackle an entirely new venture – one that would take Apple TV to the proverbial next level.

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.