CNBC: Apple may sell 17 million iPods in holiday quarter [updated]

According to CNBC’s latest Holiday Central survey, some 8% of those polled expect to buy an iPod this holiday shopping season. That means Apple could see sales of about 17 million units during its fourth quarter with revenue of $2.7 billion. The CNBC survey also found that 20% of those surveyed currently own an iPod, while 70% do not currently own an iPod and do not plan to buy one. In other gadgets, the survey shows 3% of those polled plan to buy a Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation 3 (6.3 million units each) and 2% have their eyes on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (4.2 million units).

Update: Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster is expecting iPod sales of 15.5 million to 16 million units for the holiday quarter. “Our analysis of iPod unit data from NPD for the months of October and November leads us to expect iPod shipments in the range of 15.5m-16m for the Dec-06 quarter (our model calls for 14.7m iPods in the quarter and Street consensus is 15.0m),” Munster says in a research note today. “The 15.5m-16m unit range is based on various assumptions and is an extrapolation of two months of data, so we believe investors should supplement this data point with other information.”

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