Apple’s iPod sales improved in February — thanks to a price cut on the low-end iPod shuffle — but March quarter sales still look like they’ll miss the Street’s consensus.
After extrapolating January and February sales data from research firm NPD Group, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates that Apple will sell 9.7 million to 10.5 million iPods this quarter. That’s 200,000 iPods more than Munster’s model showed a month ago, but still short of the Street’s 10.8 million iPod consensus and Munster’s call of 11.3 million.
As we said last month, this is an ugly start to the year. The 10.8 million Street consensus already represents just a 2% y/y unit sales increase from a year ago, when the company sold 10.55 iPods in the March quarter. Munster’s new analysis projects year-on-year growth that ranges from flat to a 8% y/y decline.