Apple may be about to become the next industry giant, according to a research company.

Writing for IT-Director, Bloor Research's Robin Bloor writes: "Apple is clearly outperforming all consumer electronics stocks by a dramatic margin – and Apple isn't just a consumer electronics company, although its financial vitality comes primarily from that market."

He also praises the iPod saying: "The iPod is a phenomenon that no one saw coming. Apple hasn't just done a great piece of marketing and design work [with the iPod] it has established a very powerful brand; one that must be the envy of many. It is also generating significant revenues."

According to analysts at Generator Solutions, Apple's music revenues will reach $6 billion by 2007.

Calling consumers

Bloor highlights a number of advantages of the Macintosh. "It doesn't crash; it's highly secure and fairly bullet-proof against PC pests (viruses, spam, hacking); it's the definitive digital juke box; and it's the premier digital photography platform." He also suggests that it's likely to become the definitive digital platform.

Bloor predicts: "With Apple's visible resurgence, we are going to see an uptake of Apple PCs in businesses beyond its established niches (for DTP, Photography, Video)." He believes that it is primarily the consumer market that Apple will win over.