Apple reports its second quarter results on April 13, and Wall Street analysts are optimistic for a good quarter.

When he spoke to analysts from Morgan Stanley this month, Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said: "We've been putting the first Apple product (the iPod) in the hands of millions of Windows customers. When they've had that good experience, many have asked what else we offer. You read a lot about virus issues on Windows. We think the timing is really great for the Mac mini as it addresses these."

Mass market gains

In guidance issued on March 14 Banc of America Securities analyst called Apple's stock a "buy", with a target price of $48. He anticipates that the Mac mini will "strengthen the company's market share and distribution", and said the company would "witness substantial opportunities for market share gains" in the coming quarters.

JP Morgan analyst Bill Shope also waxed positive, telling clients the company's performance is "defying seasonal pressures" in the quarter. The company is "an attractive investment", Shope explained.

He told MacObserver that Apple's digital music products are: "Protected by a unique blend of technical and legal barriers to entry which we believe will mitigate the recent moves by Apple's competitors in the space."

Mass market migration - some pain

It's only the beginning. Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf told Macworld that the iPod halo-driven Mac mini sales, "to Windows users gathers steam to become a really big number in the out years of the decade."

A recent PC Advisor survey hints at success for Apple, revealing that 15.7 per cent of the Windows-focused title’s readers who voted will buy a Mac mini.

However, many UK resellers and several irate Mac buyers have told Macworld UK of their frustration. It appears some resellers have build-to-order Mac mini orders stretching back to January. This suggests Apple may once again have underestimated demand.

Apple is unable to comment on these matters as it approaches the end of its quarter.