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Apple iPod sales pass 30m

That's a lot of white MP3 players

Apple today said it has shipped more than 30m iPods since it launched the first member of its MP3 player family back in November 2001.

That leaves it with just over a month to sell around 7m more - if it's to meet the 37m target set by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster earlier this month.

"We expect the iPod to continue to be a foundation for growth in other parts of Apple's business, and we expect that by the end of calendar 2005 more than 37m iPods will have shipped, providing Apple with a greater scope of awareness for various products," Munster told investors at the beginning of November.

If Apple is to achieve that goal, it's got Black Friday in the US to look forward to when consumers start spending big time. It also has December's pre-Christmas sales rush around the world to help.

Apple sold 6.45m iPods in the three months to 30 September, and we'd expect the current quarter's shipments - Apple's first quarter of fiscal 2006 - to be higher still. Whether they will be sufficient to meet Munster's target remains to be seen, but the fact it has passed the 30m mark means it's not going to fall short by much.

Apple also said today iTunes Music Store customers had together purchased more than 600m songs, the same figure announced by Apple's iTunes chief, Eddie Cue, at the launch of ITMS Australia late last month. ®

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