In a note to clients — as reported by “AppleInsider” ( — Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster say he’s analyzed the latest data from The NPD Group ( and has found that the release of new MacBook Airs and Mac OS X 10.7 (“Lion”) last month resulted in Mac US sales growth of 26% year-over-year.

This puts Mac sales on a pace to meet consensus estimates of 4.5 million total sales for the three-month period ending September. Munster estimates that Apple will sell 4.4 million to 4.6 million Macs during the September quarter — both of which would represent a quarterly best.

“We believe Mac sales benefited from the July 20 launch of OS X Lion along with refreshed MacBook Airs and Mac minis,” he says. “But these tailwinds will fade throughout the September quarter and year-over-year compares get slightly tougher in the last two months of the quarter.”