Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Apple will report 10.3 million iPods sold for the quarter, below Wall Streetis estimate of 10.9 million. Earlier in the quarter, he was predicting Apple would sell between 11 and 12 million units.
Mr. Munster lowered his estimate after reviewing NPD sales data for January and February, and then extrapolating March sales based on historical averages. Despite anticipating that Apple will report lower than expected iPod sales, he feels Apple is maintaining its 70 percent market share for portable digital media players.
"While iPod units fell slightly month over month in February, this downtick was in line with the overall MP3 player market," he said. "iPod market share was unchanged from January to February at about 70 percent."
Mr. Munster is maintaining his "Outperform" rating and target price of US$124 for Apple stock. Apple is currently trading at $94.78, down 0.68 (0.71%).