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MacBook Air, Mac mini drive strong Q3 sales

The NPD group released its sales data for the current quarter and things are looking good for Apple. Mac sales are up 22% year-over-year due primarily to the release of OS X Lion and new MacBook Air and Mac Mini hardware in July.

In a research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster crunched these numbers and presented a slightly conservative quarterly estimate. Munster believes sales climbed during the summer months due to this new hardware and will likely fall off in September after the initial enthusiasm wears off.

Taking this seasonal drop into account, Munster predicts Apple will sell 4.4 to 4.6 million Macs in the quarter, a 13%- 18% year-over-year increase. Munster also estimates Mac revenue will account for 20% of Apple's overall revenue in the current quarter.

Looking back at last quarter, Apple sold 3.9M Macs (14% yoy increase), but these were a mix of new MacBook Pros, iMacs and older MacBook Air and Mac mini models. With new hardware gracing almost every Mac product line except the Mac Pro, Mac sales should remain steady.

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