Analyst: iPod sales on track despite supplier chatter

Apple investors shouldn’t focus too much on recent rumblings from manufacturers and suppliers suggesting a slowdown in iPod sales, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. “Our preliminary analysis of iPod unit shipment data from NPD leads us to believe that Apple is on track to meet or slightly exceed our iPod unit assumptions and be primarily in line with Street numbers,” Munster said in a research note provided to iLounge. “Specifically, our analysis of data for January points to iPod units of 9.3 million in the March quarter; we are modeling for 9.0 million (average iPod unit estimate from 11 Street models is 9.5 million).”

Munster says that recent news coming from suppliers isn’t the best way to forecast iPod unit sales. “In some cases, various Apple suppliers and manufacturers can provide a decent indication of trends in the iPod business, but making direct assumptions about Apple from chatter out of these partners does not always prove to be the best course of action,” Munster said. “Apple has more than 50 supply and manufacturing partners for its products. A small handful of these partners receive the majority of their revenue from Apple, while most receive revenue from many other companies that have products in totally different segments of the market.”

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