Apple’s March quarter look good already, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, after reviewing new data from the NPD research group. He says January Mac retail sales are up 36% year-over-year, compared to the Street consensus of 18% year-over-year growth.

Munster told clients in a note that Apple was on pace to sell 2.8 million Macs in the first fiscal quarter of the year. The analyst says iPod sales are up 5% year-over-year. He thinks Apple will see March quarter iPod sales slowing to 9-10 million, or roughly -9% to -17% year-over-year this quarter, versus the Street at -17%. Munster also told clients:

° That he thinks Apple will refresh its laptop line this quarter.

° The average selling price of Macs is down about 9% year-over-yearwhile iPod ASPs are up about 4%.