updated 04:15 pm EST, Tue February 16, 2010
iPod sales also surprising, says analyst
Apple is already having a good start to 2010, notes Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. New NPD figures show that Mac retail sales rose 36 percent year-over-year for the month of January, well above a Street consensus of 18 percent for the March quarter as a whole. iPods were meanwhile up 5 percent for the month, in stark contrast to Munster's call for a drop of 17 percent.
Making his own projections for the March quarter, the analyst suggests that Apple should be able to sell between 2.6 and 2.8 million Macs. This would amount to a growth of 18 to 26 percent. iPod sales are still expected to slide by between 9 and 17 percent, which may nevertheless be somewhat better than a consensus of 17 percent.
iPod sales have been on a long-term decline, influenced by several factors. One of these is cannibalization by the iPhone; some further sales may be lost to low-end iPad models once the device launches in late March.
Apple stock has risen over $3 on Tuesday to sit at approximately $203.