Report: Apple to sell 3.5 million Macs this quarter

Apple's Mac sales are up and the iPod is down over last year, but both products are tracking within analyst expectations.

Jim Dalrymple Special to CNET News
Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.
Jim Dalrymple

According to new research, Apple will sell between 3.5 million and 3.7 million Macs in the fiscal quarter ending in this month.

The data comes from market research firm NPD and was sent to clients by Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster. Interpreting the data, Munster says he believes Apple will finish the quarter at the lower end of expectations.

For January and February, Apple is trending up 16 percent over the year-ago quarter. That would put Apple at about 3.6 million Macs for the quarter. The street consensus is for Macs to be up in the 22 percent range year over year. The 16 percent gain would put Apple within, but at the low end, of Munster's expectations of 15 percent to 25 percent.

Munster notes that there may have been a pause in sales asApple readied to release the new MacBook Pros in February. That would also lead to a rise in sales for March, which are not yet reflected in the numbers.

iPad sales are also falling in line with expectations, according to Munster. Currently the iPod is tracking down 11 percent over last year, meeting his range of being down between 5 percent to 10 percent.

The NPD data suggests Apple will sell between 9.8 million and 10.3 million iPods this quarter. Munster said he believes the street expectations are around 10.2 million iPods for the quarter.