Piper Jaffray analysts believe Apple has a chance at achieving a major European sales boost in the coming months, and that the release of an iPod mobile phone will take place by mid-2007.

The analysts surveyed Apple Expo, Paris visitors this month and found that over half of loyal European Mac users are biding their time before buying a new Intel Mac, but that they will do so within the next six months.

Some Apple Expo visitors mentioned that the release of Adobe Creative Suite 3, which should offer support for Intel Macs, will be a catalyst for their purchase.

"We had expected that a higher percentage of these loyal customers would have already made the move to an Intel Mac and we see this as a sign that Apple has so far just scraped the surface of the Mac transition opportunity," Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster wrote, MacNN reports.

Munster also believes Apple's iPod and iTunes products are at an early growth stage in Europe, which he calls "similar" to the US market 4-6 quarters ago.

The analyst speculates that Apple will release a hybrid mobile phone iPod within the next 3-6 months.

"We believe Apple will look to time its iPhone launch perfectly with the inflection point in this market and we believe that point will be within the next year," he wrote.

AppleInsider adds Munster's observation that: "While there are more music enabled phones in the market than we had expected to see, we believe the hype related to this market has yet to begin," and his belief that Apple's debut in the space will kick-start the nascent market for mobile phone music players.