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Monday, September 14, 2009, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Mac sales grow 7% as Apple projected to sell 2.8M in quarter

Based on new sales figures from NPD Market Research, Apple is expected to slightly exceed Wall Street's consensus on Mac sales for the September quarter.

In a new note to investors, Gene Munster, senior research analyst with PiperJaffray, said that NPD data for the July and August shows Mac sales up 7 percent year-over-year. This as investors are looking for about a 5 percent improvement.

If the trends shown in the NPD numbers hold, Apple would sell between 2.75 million and 2.8 million Macs in the quarter, about even with Wall Street consensus of 2.75 million. But Munster predicts the numbers will skew higher than expected.

Not faring as well, however, are iPods. Year-over-year sales during July and August were down 16 percent. Munster estimates that Apple will sell between 9.5 million and 10.5 million iPods for the quarter, while the Street is expecting about 10 million.

However, Apple is projected to improve on both Mac and iPod numbers as the quarter comes to a close. The iPod boost in particular will come thanks to new products — namely, a new iPod nano that debuted at last week's event.

"We are expecting reacceleration in the final month of the quarter given the new iPod nanos that shipped on 9/9," Munster said. "Also, iPod international is growing faster than domestic. In other words, we believe the actual reported numbers for iPod will be slightly better than NPD would suggest."

International growth is also faster for the Mac, as well, which leads Munster to believe that the Mac numbers will also exceed what is implied by NPD retail data. PiperJaffray has maintained a price target of $186 for AAPL stock, and has reiterated its overweight rating.

In its June quarter, Apple sold 2.6 million Macs and 5.2 million iPhones, bringing its year-over-year profits up 15 percent. The company had a record non-holiday quarter, with sales of $8.34 billion.

Last week, Apple announced it has sold over 30 million iPhones to date. Though that number was likely rounded off for the company's media event, it means the hardware maker likely sold over 3.6 million devices so far in the quarter. Munster has predicted that Apple will sell 7 million phones through September.