Apple will be bigger than IBM within two years.

"Apple will be a bigger company than IBM in terms of market capitalization. As of this writing Apple is just about to hit $100 billion in market cap while IBM is at $158 billion," writes Georges Yared of Yared Investment Research in an article published on the Blogging Stocks website.

The analyst notes the different business cycles and strategies of the two firms, remarking "Apple is growing aggressively...but is just beginning."

iPods and the iTunes Store have opened the consumer market up to Apple, and given it market share dominance of a growing market, Yared explains.

The imminent US debut of the iPhone will consolidate the company's position, and give the company - which plans to apply iPhone revenue across a 24-month period - "a huge deferred revenue line on the balance sheet", he said.

Continued Mac market share gains and the ability to create direct contact with consumers through its giant network of Apple retail stores will also contribute to Apple becoming a US technology giant, notes the analyst.

Yared's conclusions are particularly interesting when a Mac watcher considers the first-ever advertisement for the Mac, the now-legendary 1984 ad.

That ad culminated in the destruction of a huge screen which was showing the face of a slightly fascistic leader figure - a figure some Apple history books claim was intended to represent IBM.