Banc of America claims Apple has reduced its iPod orders while ramping up Mac production orders with its Far East suppliers.

The researchers claim Apple has increased production orders for both desktop and notebook Macs by 20 per cent, while slicing its iPod production by 10-20 per cent.

The analysts expect Mac production orders will continue to increase in the coming quarter, suggesting strong demand for Apple computers.

Apple seems to be anticipating declining iPod sales, though the firm could simply be reducing its orders in an attempt to reduce stock in hand, perhaps with a view to refreshing the product range.

The analysts reiterated their 'Buy' assessment on Apple stock with a $180 target price.