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Mac, iPod retail sales dip in April

Piper Jaffray analyst combs through NPD retail data to predict slight declines in Mac and iPod sales for the quarter.

iPod shuffle Apple
The newest addition to the iPod lineup may have slightly boosted overall sales numbers for April. Apple

Just like February, April was a gloomy month for Apple retail sales of Macs and iPods, according to data gathered by the NPD Group.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster analyzed the monthly data from NPD's April roundup of Apple sales. He said in a research note Monday that April Mac sales were down 1.8 percent from a year ago. Assuming similar patterns for May and June, that should lead to total quarterly sales of 2.1 million to 2.3 million Macs, which would be an 8 percent to 16 percent decline in unit growth, he writes. If that does happen, it would represent the second quarter in a row of falling Mac shipments. Munster puts a positive spin on it, saying that the drop in sales was not as bad as expected given the current shape of the economy. Plus, Apple's situation appears rosy compared to its PC brethren, whose growth collectively was negative 7 percent in the most recent quarter.

It also appears iPod growth is headed downhill. Munster points to 9 percent declines in iPod sales in April, which puts the business on track for 9.5 million to 10.5 million units for the quarter, or anywhere from a 5 percent to 14 percent dip. That's despite the introduction of the updated iPod Shuffle, introduced in March.

Declining Mac and iPod sales amid Apple's continual overall solid performance only serve to underscore the importance of the iPhone to the company's bottom line.