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Monday, September 18, 2006, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

September quarter iPod shipments should meet Street estimates

After analyzing NPD market research data from the first two months of Apple Computer's September quarter, analysts for PiperJaffray believe iPod unit shipments will end the quarter close to Street expectations.

"We have analyzed the first 2 months of NPD data (July & August) for the September quarter and found that it suggests iPod units of around 7.4m," analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients Monday afternoon.

"When the third month of data is released, our analysis will likely lead to a different iPod unit figure than what our analysis suggests based on the first 2 months of data, given data for the month of September will include data related to the new iPods that are now in shipment."

While Munster's iPod NPD extrapolation analysis suggests that iPod shipments through the months of July and August are tracking slightly below his plan, he thinks the recent announcement of new iPods may make it possible for Apple to hit his 8.6 million unit estimate for the quarter.

"Without a new iPod this quarter, we had expected slight downside to our estimate, as suggested by the first 2 months of NPD data," he added.

Munster maintains an "Outperform" rating on shares of Apple with a price target of $99.