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Thursday, December 14, 2006, 10:30 am PT (01:30 pm ET)

Briefly: AirPort update; 16M iPods; MacBooks

Apple has released an update for its AirPort wireless software. Meanwhile, new NPD data suggests the company is on track to sell around 16 million iPods this quarter. And Apple is offering some significantly discounted previous generation MacBook models.

AirPort Update 2006-002

Apple on Wednesday afternoon released AirPort Update 2006-002 (1.3MB), which improves AirPort compatibility for its new line of Core 2 Duo notebook computers.

These models include MacBook Pro (15-inch Core 2 Duo), MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo) and MacBook (13-inch Core 2 Duo).

NPD data suggests 15.5M - 16M iPods

In the third of as many research notes released by PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster on Wednesday, the analyst said an extrapolation of NPD data from the first two months of Apple's December holiday quarter leads him to expect iPod unit sales will total between 15.5 million - 16 million.

"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)," the analyst wrote.

Munster said the 15.5m-16m unit range is "based on various assumptions" and therefore believes investors should supplement the data point with other information.

Core Duo MacBook Pros at discount

Meanwhile, a tipster points out that Apple through its online store is looking to move some refurbished 15-inch Core Duo MacBook Pro models and is offering considerable discounts as a result.

The Mac maker has discounted both the matte- and glossy-screened version of the previous generation 2.16GHz models by $1000, or a savings of over 40 percent. It's also selling several other refurbished Core Duo 13-inch MacBook and 17-inch MacBook Pro models at discounts of around 30 percent.