Goldman doubles iPod shuffle unit estimate, sees HP decline

Goldman Sachs has doubled its estimate for the number of iPod shuffles it expects Apple to sell this quarter to 1.8 million units. In a research note, the firm told clients that “with competition unlikely to come from ‘me too’ MP3 players, it will probably take something like Sony’s PlayStation portable to pose a challenge to iPod long term.”

Goldman also said that Hewlett-Packard may be the “odd man out” unless it makes “substantial changes” in its relationship with Apple. “HP’s iPod sales are likely to decline markedly over the next few quarters unless HP is able to bring out new iPod models in a more timely manner,” it said. “We estimate that HP could drop from about 7% of Apple’s total iPod shipments in the December quarter to 2% to 3% of hard drive-based iPods in the March quarter (and an even smaller amount if you include Apple’s flash-based iPod shuffle shipments).”

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