Apple's resurgence has only just begun and an even stronger raft of products in 2006 will drive its fortunes higher, analysts predict.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster last night raised his rating on Apple to "outperform", and raised the target price to $79. He described continued demand for iPods and a "stronger product outlook for 2006", according to Forbes.

He expects Apple will have shipped nine million iPods in the quarter ending this December, observing that supply problems persist, with non-Apple retailers facing shortages.

Munster sees the move to Intel processors as driving new Mac releases next year.

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore also increased his Apple price target (to $78 per share) and raised his 2006 and 2007 earning estimates on the firm.

Another analyst, Bill Shope at JP Morgan, maintained his positive assessment on Apple stock, calling the iPod the "biggest-selling consumer electronics item of the year".

Apple closed at $69.66 on last night's trading.