Wall Street is expecting impressive iPod sales this Christmas, with some financial analysts forecasting that despite shortages of the devices, the company will sell 4 million – twice as many as it did this time last year.

IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian told Reuters: "I was at an Apple store just yesterday and the place was packed with people looking at iPods and iPod accessories. There's no question that iPods are an extremely hot item this holiday season."

Supply and demand

If Apple had been able to meet demand it seems likely that it could have beaten the 4 million figure predicted by analysts. But GartnerG2 analyst Mike McGuire points out: "Maybe even Apple might be surprised at the demand for this thing."

Kevorkian added: "People are going to have to look around a little bit more. Unfortunately the upshot of all this publicity may be people just giving up and deciding not to try to get one."

NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker said: "If it sold two million last quarter and it's going to sell four million this quarter, that puts an awful lot of stress on the supply chain. Apple would have to build all those extra ones for quite a while, going back into the summer."