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Munster: Mac sales up 20 percent this year

Apple's Mac sales are up 20 percent year-over-year and on target to meet expected sales of 3.6 million units in the March quarter, according to new domestic sales data from the NPD Group.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster revealed the figures, and he says that he believes early numbers from the first month of Apple's second quarter of fiscal year 2011 mean Apple is on course to meet Wall Street expectations. Investors are expecting year-over-year growth of around 22 percent in the March quarter, and although growth in the US has only been around 20 percent, Munster notes that Apple has seen faster growth of the Mac platform in international markets.

The sales figures may receive a further boost if Apple does indeed revamp the MacBook Pro line later this week. Munster believes that there is also continuing strong demand for the new MacBook Air, noting that the entry-level 11-inch model with its $999 price point currently occupies the most space in Apple Stores and has supported portable sales while users wait for the revamped MacBook Pro.

The NPD numbers also include US iPod sales, down 10 percent year-over-year in January. However, predicting sales based on NPD figures is difficult since international iPod sales represent a larger mix than international Mac sales. That said, Munster says Apple is on track to sell between 9.8 million and 10.3 million iPods in the March quarter, 5-10 percent less than during the same period in 2010.

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