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Friday, September 07, 2007, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

September quarter iPod sales tracking around 10 - 11 million

After examining iPod unit data from the month of July, researchers at Piper Jaffray say Apple is on track to sell 10 - 11 million iPods in total during the three-month period ending September 29th.

"Our analysis of iPod unit data from NPD for the month of July leads us to a preliminary iPod approximation of 10 million - 11 million for the September quarter," wrote analyst Gene Munster in one of several research notes released this week.

The analyst said his approximation is based on various assumptions and is an extrapolation of one month of data.

"When the second month of data is released, our analysis will likely lead to a slightly different iPod unit figure than what our analysis suggests based on the first month of data," he added, "so we believe investors should supplement this data point with other information."

Munster's approximation, which was issued early Wednesday, also does not factor in assumed demand for the new line of iPods that were announced several hours later. Shipments of those models could boost quarterly totals significantly, as Apple has three full weeks left in the September quarter to fill its distribution channels with the updated players.

Street consensus estimates for Apple's September quarter iPod shipments are presently at 10.6 million compared to Munster's model of 10.2 million.

Piper Jaffray maintains an Outperform rating on shares of Apple with 12-month price target of $211 per share.