Apple has overturned all conventional wisdom about the company this year.

Speaking to CBS Marketwatch, NPD Techworld analyst Stephen Baker said: “I think you have to give them an 'A' for how they've done over the past year.

"Wall Street’s conventional wisdom about Apple has been completely blown away." Apple’s share value continues to rise, and its stock has been transformed to a must-have share, the report says.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is described as hosting a vision that’s admired and also questioned. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster describes Jobs as "the visionary" of the company.

Analysts spoken to in the report all agree that Apple’s series of strategies: retail stores, the iPod, iTunes, the G5 processor and Mac OS X, among others, have all connected to make 2004 a "breakout year" for the company.

Discussing the much-posited ‘halo effect’ of iPod sales, the report concludes: “If the halo effect pans out, and the Mac gains ground in the PC market, Jobs will have succeeded in doing something no one thought possible.”