Analyst predicts 2014 A7 Apple TV, future in set-top boxes

This year has seen many product refreshes for Apple (a aapl) — including the super high-end Mac Pro — but the Apple TV system has been suspiciously absent from the proceedings. But it’s coming soon, if an analyst report spotlighted by 9to5Mac is on target. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that in 2014, Apple TV will use an A7 chip, but that the long-term goal is a set-top box in 2015 or 2016. Both products are reasonably predictable — the A7 upgrade is an easy one to make, and Apple already has patents for a set-top box in place — so it’s worth keeping in mind.

Satisfaction survey shows why Apple’s iPad will remain on top

Apple’s iPad still the tablet market leader in terms of sales, despite gains by the Kindle Fire, and a recent survey of tablet user satisfaction suggests it’s well-poised to stay ahead. Setting the standards for tablet-buyer expectations will help Apple continue to lead the pack.

Analyst talks three possible routes for future Apple TV

A dedicated Apple TV set was a hot topic at the end of 2011. So far in 2012, news on that front has been relatively quiet, but a new note by longtime Apple TV set booster and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is reigniting the discussion.

Analyst: China could bring 57M iPhone bump by 2013

Apple’s iPhone was a hot seller in the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2012, but that’s nothing compared to what one analyst predicts we could see in just a couple of years’ time. Morgan Stanley thinks Apple’s efforts in China could pay big dividends by 2013.

What Wall Street is saying about Apple’s record quarter

Apple’s record quarter is prompting a lot of analysts and Wall Street watchers to up their estimates for the stock’s performance. A slew of investor notes released Wednesday suggest few believe Apple’s fortunes have reached their apex. Investors seem to agree, as Apple’s stock opened strong.

Analyst expectations up again ahead of Apple earnings call

In a note to investors today, Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu discussed his company’s expectations for Apple’s earnings call Tuesday afternoon, which were up once again from earlier predictions. Wu’s revised estimate joins a chorus of rosy outlooks about the Mac-maker’s performance.

‘Conservative’ estimate predicts 48 million iPad sales in 2012

It’s time to start placing bets as to how many iPads Apple will sell in 2012. Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu is starting things off with an estimate of 48 million, he said Wednesday morning. Wu says that number could end up being “conservative,” and I agree.

Cloud server shipments to skyrocket in 2012

For anyone who doubts cloud computing is driving IT, check out new numbers from IHS. The researcher predicts unit shipments of “cloud servers” — those that run cloud computing infrastructure — will grow 35 percent to a whopping 875,000 this year, from 647,000 in 2011.

Today in Connected Consumer

There’s trouble in Tinseltown. Movie theater attendance hit a 16-year low in 2011, dropping 4 percent from 2010. The slowing turnstiles have led some analysts to lower their ratings for shares of publicly traded theater chains, sending the stocks down sharply. But don’t expect things to improve much soon. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield released his predictions fro 2012 yesterday (see here for the LA Times’ right up, and here for Greenfield’s registration-required blog post) and he offered little cheer for the traditional movie business. “We believe consumers are tiring of expensive, premium-priced movie experiences, particularly when combined with an increasingly unsatisfying exhibition experience,” Greenfield wrote.”We expect movie attendance to fall yet again in 2012; more importantly we believe attendance is now in a secular decline in the U.S.” At the same time, Greenfield expects video piracy to explode over the next few years as TVs, “rapidly become IP-enabled or ‘smart’ directly or indirectly with apps that facilitate piracy.” He also thinks SOPA is a fool’s errand that will do nothing to change consumer behavior. Good times.

Apple reportedly using new display tech for iPad 3

Supply chain reports released on Friday indicate that Apple will opt for indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) instead of in-plane switching (IPS) display panels for its upcoming iPad 3. The change would provide benefits in terms of energy consumption, cost reduction and improved resolution.