updated 05:00 pm EST, Wed March 15, 2006
PJ models 9M iPod sales
Piper Jaffary believes that strong iPod shipments -- as many as 9.1 million based on two months of shipment data from market research firm NPD -- and strong sales of Intel Macs will lead to a strong quarter by Apple. Senior analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray (PJ) today said that January and February iPod shipment data show that Apple is on track to ship between 8.8 and 9.1 million iPods during the current quarter, which will be on track for the firm's previous 9 million iPod sales estimate. Munster also said that there is a 75 percent chance of an "iPhone" within the next year. "Our preliminary analysis of iPod unit shipment data from NPD leads us to believe that Apple is on track to meet or be slightly below our 9.0 iPod unit assumptions," Munster wrote in a research note.
The firm also believes iPod demand will accelerate in the middle of 2006 based on upcoming positive seasonality and new form factor iPods. While Apple's market share of portable digital audio players went from 78 percent in January to 76 percent in February, Piper Jaffray believes iPod demand is strong despite March quarter expected seasonality. Piper Jaffray is maintaining its "outperform" rating on Apple, with a price target of $103.