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Merrill Lynch projects shipments of 4 million iPods

In a research note released to clients on Wednesday, Merrill Lynch analyst, Steve Milunovich, said his firm expects Apple to ship 1 million shuffles and about 3 million iPods this quarter, for a total of 4 million units. "Updating the iPod mini should help iPod units decline only 35% sequentially from 4.6 million to 3 million," the analyst said. Milunovich also voiced his belief that the 60GB iPod photo price was slashed by 25%, due to less than spectacular demand since its October debut. Merrill Lynch reiterated its 'Buy' rating on Apple with a price objective of $102 per share.