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Kindle Fire cannibalized 1M to 2M iPad sales 'at most' this holiday

The launch of the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire had a detrimental effect on iPad sales for Apple, but the company is still expected to report record sales this quarter, a new report states.

Investment research firm Morgan Keenan on Tuesday trimmed its projected iPad sales for the holiday quarter from 16 million to 13 million. While less than previously expected, the 13 million total would easily best the record 11.2 million iPads Apple sold in the previous quarter.

Analyst Travis McCourt expects the iPad will generate 21.3 percent of revenue for Apple in the December quarter, up from 17.2 percent in the year-ago period, but also less than the 24.3 percent it represented in the September quarter. Part of his rationale for trimming projected iPad sales is Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire.

"Based on data from Amazon, we believe the Amazon Fire likely sold 4-5 million units this holiday season," McCourt said in a note to investors, "which probably means maybe 1-2 million cannibalized iPad sales at most."

Amazon revealed last week that it was selling more than a million Kindles per week leading up to Christmas. But the Kindle family includes Amazon's e-ink readers as well as the new Kindle Fire. Amazon did not provide specific sales data for any of its tablet-style hardware.

McCourt also on Tuesday increased his projected iPhone sales for the holiday quarter from 27 million to 29 million. He expects iPhone revenues will represent 47.5 percent of Apple's total revenues in the December quarter, up from 38.8 percent in the September quarter and 39.1 percent in the same period a year ago.

As for the Mac, McCourt has reduced his estimate from 4.9 million units to 4.8 million units over the holidays, which would be down from the 4.9 million Macs Apple sold in the September quarter. But that's a prediction that runs contrary to Apple's recent historical trends.

For example, a year ago Mac sales grew from 3.89 million in the September quarter to 4.1 million over the holidays. In 2009, Macs grew from 3 million sales to 3.36 million in the December quarter.

McCourt said 4.8 million Mac sales for Apple over the holidays would likely represent "another strong quarter of market share gains." He believes the global PC market will be largely flat year over year, while Apple will see 17 percent growth from 2010 over the same period.