By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
July 20, 2009

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster issued a note early Monday morning warning clients that for Apple (AAPL) to sell the 2.45 million Macs the Street was expecting this quarter, there would have to be good news in the data due out from the NPD Group Monday afternoon.

“Mac NPD for the month of June needs to be flat in order for the entire quarter to be tracking in line with Street Mac consensus,” he wrote, adding — in a golfing metaphor salesman slang — that he expected “slight upside to the flat bogey for the month of June, between flat and +5%” year over year.

Well, the NPD numbers came out and they blew past even his most optimistic expectations. Rather than up 5% in June, as he hoped, they were up a whopping 16%.

According to Munster’s second note of the day, that implies sales for the entire quarter of 2.6 million units.

That’s more Macs than any of the analysts we polled over the weekend expected and more, even, than Apple sold in Q2 2008, before the global economy went into free fall.

The average sales price of those Macs in June was down 4% month over month, however, thanks to the same price cuts that drove up volume.

We’ll find out how all this affected Apple’s bottom line when the company reports its full quarterly earnings after the markets close Tuesday.

Meanwhile Apple shares, which had climbed as high as $155 early Monday, slid back down to $151 in mid-afternoon trading. The stock closed at 152.91, up .76% in a day on which the Dow rose 1.19%

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