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Analyst: Declines in Mac, iPod sales isn't so bad

When is negative growth a positive thing? In this economy, any growth that stays in-line with Wall Street expectations can be viewed as a good thing - though it's still too early to call.

When is negative growth a positive thing? In this economy, any growth that stays in-line with Wall Street expectations can be viewed as a good thing - though it's still too early to call. And that's how one analyst is looking at Apple's current quarter.

In a note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said today that a review of NPD data suggests that Apple is on-track to meet Wall Street's expectations for Mac and iPod sales - which are expected to be down about 6 percent and 14 percent, respectively, compared to the same quarter last year. Wall Street is expecting declines of 4 percent and 11 percent, respectively. In the note, Muster writes:

Note that y/y Mac performance will face a tough comparison in months of Feb and Mar due to the Feb-08 MacBook Air launch in the year-ago-quarter with no expected Mac launch in the month of Feb-09.

For Apple's first quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season, sales of Macs and iPhones were in-line with expectations but iPods were unexpectedly stronger.

Previous coverage: Apple beats for Q1; iPod sales strong