Apple’s iPod shuffle isn’t its most important product. But it’s a big seller, unit wise. So its sleek new design — despite our nitpicking over headphone compatiblity — should help unit sales. That, combined with its new price tag — $79 instead of $49 — should boost revenues and margins.
How much? In a note today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts:
- Apple will sell 10.0 million iPods this quarter, up from his previous estimate of 9.5 million.
- Apple will report $5.09 earnings per share this fiscal year, up from $5.06.
- Apple’s fiscal 2009 iPod unit shipments will dip 3% year-over-year, up from a 5% year-over-year drop.
Meanwhile, Munster tackles the ‘iPod touch HD’ reports: He expects Apple to launch this product in early 2010, not this year. Recent reports suggest that Apple will start selling a touchscreen Internet tablet as soon as the second half of this year. Apple typically updates its iPod lineup in September.