Apple will join the likes of Google and Microsoft in the wearable computing market soon, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

In a research note (via ZDNet) Munster reiterated his company’s belief that wearable computers “will ultimately be a major future trend” – and one that Apple could significantly benefit from.

“First, the company could create products for consumers, like the watch [rumoured as a companion device to the iPhone]. Second, we believe the company could expand its MFi program that licenses hardware manufacturers the ability to make products that connect to iOS devices.”

Munster explained his belief that wearable computers will replace smartphones and mobile devices over the next decade. “We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control,” he said.

“Longer term, screens in glasses or projectors could replace the necessity of a screen from a smartphone or tablet. These devices are likely to be cheaper than an iPhone and could ultimately be Apple’s best answer to addressing emerging markets.”

Munster also predicted an Apple TV in November 2013 – he’s been predicting an Apple TV for a while now, though – and an iPhone 5 upgrade in September.