By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 8, 2010

The third in a series of previews of Apple’s results for the first fiscal quarter of 2010

Earlier this week we sampled the Street’s expectations for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and Mac sales in the fiscal quarter that ended on Dec. 26.

Today we look at the analysts’ Q1 2010 estimates for a product line in transition: from simple MP3 players like the classic iPod to pocket-sized computers like the iPod touch.

Apple doesn’t break down iPod sales by model in its quarterly reports, so we’ve relied on Piper Jaffray’s iPod touch estimates to draw the chart above.

Once again, there is a wide range in unit sales estimates, from a high of 23 million from Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitman to a low of 17.75 million from Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty. (See below the fold.)

Analyst, Affiliation iPods (millions) Date of est.
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank 23.00 11/29/09
Shaw Wu, Kauffman Brothers 22.00 12/30/09
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan 21.97 1/4/10
Ben Reitzes, Barclay’s Capital 21.60 1/7/10
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan 21.60 1/13/10
Nehal Chokshi, Technology Insights 20.91 1/4/10
Deagol, Apple Finance Board 20.50 1/3/10
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna Financial 20.50 1/6/10
Doug Reid, Thomas Weisel 20.45 12/28/09
Peter Misek, Canaccord Adams 20.40 1/3/10
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer Equity Res. 20.35 12/8/09
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray 20.10 1/6/10
Brian Marshall, Broadpoint AmTech 19.83 1/3/10
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist 19.00 1/4/10
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley 17.75 1/3/10

. . . .

Note: According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, the iPod touch’s share may have widened last quarter. He’s estimating unit sales of 9.4 million iPod touches — nearly 47% of total iPod sales. In his model, iPod touch sales exceeded iPhone sales (9.3 million) for the first time in Q1 2010.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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