How many iPods did Apple sell in Q3?

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

Last week we sampled analysts' estimates of iPhone and iPad sales in advance of Apple's (aapl) earnings report for the quarter that ended June 26.

Today we look at a product that played an important but diminishing role in the company's transition from Apple Computer to Apple Inc.: the iPod

It's a product in flux. Last quarter, sales of the iPod touch, a pocket-size general purpose computer, nearly overtook those of the original special-purpose music-playing iPod. This quarter, the iPod touch is the Apple product most likely to be cannibalized by the surprisingly robust sales of the iPad tablet computer.



All of which may help explain why the range of iPod estimates from the analysts we polled is especially wide this quarter -- from a high of 10.5 million units to a low of 8.38 million. We'll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports its Q3 earnings on July 20.

Below: The estimates we've gathered so far. We'll add more as they come in.

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Analyst, affiliationiPods (millions)Date of est.
Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital10.505/20/10
Ashok Kumar, Rodman & Renshaw10.507/1/10
Ben Reitzes, Barclay's Capital10.386/22/10
Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research10.327/7/10
Daniel Tello, Deagol's AAPL Model10.126/30/10
Dennis Hildebrand, Apple's Gold10.107/7/10
Alexis Cabot, Apple Finance Board10.107/6/10
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch10.017/8/10
Andy Zaky, Bullish Cross10.006/27/10
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer9.916/30/10
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist9.907/7/10
Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co.9.877/7/10
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan9.877/1/10
Shaw Wu, Kaufman Bros.9.807/6/10
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley9.757/1/10
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna9.706/18/10
Jeff Fosberg, Apple Finance Board9.656/3/10
Richard Gardner, Citigroup9.506/28/10
Ralph Schackart, William Blair9.506/28/10
Horace Dediu, Asymco9.406/29/10
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray9.307/6/10
Robert Paul Leitao, Apple Finance Board9.207/10/10
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan8.387/7/10

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See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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