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Apple's second-gen iPod nano off to slow start?

Citing initial channel checks, analysts at Baird U.S. Equity Research are reporting that there appears to be muted demand for Apple Computer's second-generation iPod nano so far, which could have negative implications for NAND flash pricing.

"We believe Apple did not meet its NAND flash order schedule this month," analyst Tristan Gerra wrote in a note to SanDisk investors on Monday.

"While it is difficult to assess the performance of the new nano product family as Apple retailers have been directed to not comment about the iPod's sales performance, the initial feedback we are receiving from industry sources suggests nano volumes are not as strong as in the same period a year ago, which we do not view as a surprise given the new nano offering's lack of new feature set besides higher density."

Gerra further stated that he expects the mix of the black 8GB iPod nano to represent significantly less than 50 percent of iPod maker's total iPod nano units in during the fourth calendar quarter of the year, which could hold negative implications for NAND flash pricing.

"These two dynamics lead us to believe NAND spot flash pricing could peak in October, earlier than expected," he added.

Still, it should be noted that Gerra's previous reports on Apple and its plans for the iPod nano were not particularly accurate.

In July, the analyst backed other Wall Street analysts in saying Apple's second-generation iPod nano would see an approximate 2-month delay that would prevent the players from making their way to market until some time this November.

For its part, AppleInsider was unable to confirm any such delays and maintained that Apple would ship its next-generation iPod nano during the second half of September.

On September 12, Apple introduced the metal-clad iPod nano revision and began shipping units immediately.