Analyst Gene Munster: iPod Increases Lead on Amazon's Top Seller Lists

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Monday issued a new research report in which he covered the results of his ongoing monitoring of Amazon.comis top seller lists. When he checked on April 20, various versions of the iPod occupied all 10 slots in Amazonis Top 10 MP3 Players list, as well as 13 of the positions on the Top 20 MP3 Players chart.

When looking at all electronics, the iPod held 5 of the top 10 and 8 of the top 20. On March 1, Apple had 8 spots in Top 10 MP3 Players, 11 spots in Top 20 MP3 Players, 0 spots in the All Electronics Top 10, and 2 spots in the All Electronics Top 20. While Amazon isnit the only outlet for iPods, of course, Mr. Munster relies on the site because itis a prominent online retailer and its best-seller lists change in real-time.

The analyst noted that the last time the iPod occupied the entire Top 10 MP3 Players list was Sept. 9, 2005, leading into the holiday buying season. He also pointed out that the iPodis market share jumped from 76.8% in February to 77.9% in March, according to NPD Group data.

"Appleis domination in digital music is a critical piece to the story," Mr. Munster wrote, "but we do not believe the iPod is the only growth avenue for the company. Indirectly, we expect the iPod to continue to be a foundation for growth in other parts of Appleis business, and we expect that by the end of CY06 [calendar year 2006] more than 85m iPods will have shipped, providing Apple with a greater scope of awareness for various products (ihaloi effect)."

Macs Decline Slightly

Mr. Munster also looked at Mac performance, however, and found that the number of Macs on the Top 10 and Top 20 lists declined from 9 to 8 and 11 to 9, respectively. While there was a short-term drop, a year ago there were 5 Macs in the Top 10.

"We believe that increase is primarily due to the recent launch of the new Intel-based iMac and MacBook Pro," he wrote. The analyst also noted that MacBook Pro ship times on the online Apple Store are now same business day, whereas they were three to four weeks on March 1.

Mr. Munster retained his "Outperform" rating on Appleis stock, although his price target is now US$99. He had bumped it from $80 to $103 in January, when the companyis shares had soared past the $80 mark. Theyive been on a rough ride since then, however, and at 2:43 PM EST on Monday, they sat at $65.91, down 1.69% for the day.

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