Merrill Lynch Sees iPod shuffle, Mac mini As Hot Sellers

In a research report sent to clients Wednesday, Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich weighed in on Appleis announcements yesterday and said he believes both the iPod shuffle and Mac mini will be successes for the company.

Regarding the iPod shuffle, Milunovich wrote, "We continue to think Apple is building a sustainable consumer electronics franchise rather than just lucky [sic] with hot products." Milunovich believes Apple could take the top position of the flash-based MP3 market in the next few quarters.

Milunovich also expects the Mac mini will sell well both to PC switchers as well as Mac users. He believes the S-Video/composite video adapter included with the Mac mini, which allows it to hook up to a TV, "could be an overlooked feature that many a Mac lover will use to drive their TVs."

Merrill Lynch expects Apple to post a profit of 47 cents per share on $3.35 billion in sales when the company announces its December quarter earnings later today. The firm maintains its Buy rating with a $78 price target.

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