Apple is on track to sell between 15.5 and 16 million iPods for the December quarter, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. NPD data culled for the first two months of the December quarter suggests that iPod sales will be higher than Mr. Munsteris original estimate of 14.7 million iPods.
The higher than expected sales may be in part due to Appleis release of the second generation iPod shuffle. Mr. Munster said "We believe the launch of the shuffle on 11/3 had a material positive impact on NPD data for the second month of the quarter. Based on our checks with Apple resellers and NPD data, we continue to expect Apple will report slight upside for the December quarter."
But that upside includes more than just iPod sales. Mac sales for the quarter are up, as well. A check with 20 Apple channel partners shows that more than half of them expect December quarter Mac sales to be up compared to the September quarter.
Piper Jaffray is maintaining an "Outperform" rating for Apple stock with a target price of US$99. Apple continues its recovery today, and is currently trading at $87.79, up 1.65 (1.92%).