Several analysts are expecting staggering iPod sales in Apple’s first fiscal quarter, reports MarketWatch. This follows Apple’s earlier announcement that it sold 10.2 million iPods in the quarter ending September 29, a number that fell slightly short of the consensus estimate of 11 million units. “Typically, the September quarter is a back-to-school quarter driven by Macs, while the December quarter is a consumer quarter driven by iPods,” said Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Wu estimates that Apple will sell 24 million iPods in the holiday quarter, a forecast that is close to the 25 million average estimate from analysts surveyed by Thompson Financial.
Another analyst, Ingrid Ebeling of JMP Securities, believes that the iPod touch is having a strong impact on iPod sales, and that Apple’s first quarter could account for as much as 45% of all iPod sales in 2007, with sales of 29 million iPods. “Going into the holiday season, the company commented that iPod sales rose dramatically following the release of the new iPods, and they continue to gain share in the MP3 market,” said Ebeling. Apple has said it expects to report first-quarter earnings of $1.42 a share on $9.2 billion in revenue, a forecast that means Apple will need to sell approximately 24 million iPods, says Keith Bachman of BMO Securities. Bachman said that his 24 million forecast “is a very achievable estimate.”