Mac users are more switched-on and more connected to social and other online networks than PC users, an analyst said last week.

Jonathan Hoopes at ThinkEquity Partners made the observations in a note to clients, in which he raised his price target on Apple stock to $130 per share.

The analyst said, "We believe Apple's hardware unit shipment growth is made possible thanks to industry-leading software," and noted marketshare gains for Mac OS X and Safari.

"According to the latest survey results from Net Applications, Apple's Mac OS marketshare jumped to 6.21 per cent, or up 38 per cent from April 2006," Hoopes notes.

He also observed that Safari's slice of the browser market has climbed 48 per cent since last year, reaching 4.59 per cent.

"The results appear to indicate that Mac users spend more time onlinre than Windows users, the analyst speculated.

"Over 20 per cent of Mac users, or twice as many as Dell users in terms of percentage, are "creators", involved in creating the content of Web 2.0," the analyst added, citing a recent survey.

"Only 35 per cent of Mac users are inactive," the analyst added.

The characterisation that Macs continue to appeal to creative types offers Apple another advantage, as it has "established a premium image with a less price-sensitive group," the analyst points out.