This week International Data Corp (IDC) dubbed Apple a computer manufacturer with the "right stuff" for growth in the next quarter. IDC claims that, for the same period, the PC industry will experience expansion of about 17 per cent

IDC also reports that the Japanese market has grown by over 30 per cent over the last year, mirrored by similar growth in the Asia/Pacific market. Other manufacturers described as having potential for growth included Dell, Gateway and Hewlett Packard.

According to data provided by market resesarch unit BCN, Apple took an average of 26.4 per cent of Japan's personal computer market in November. Japanese sources report that it is unlikely Apple will be prosecuted by the Japanese authorities over the recent raid(see "Apple Japan admits pricing probe"). The BCN figures make Apple Japan's top-selling computer company.

In the US, Business Week's annual awards for the best and most innovative technological products featured Apple's wireless Airport technology. Related reports show that Apple's newly configured G4 range (see "Apple revamps G4 line-up") is aready shipping in quantity Stateside.

Finally, US investors are hedging their bets as they await an announcement regarding US interest rates. NASDAQ showed a general drop in stock prices, as investors shuffled the pack in readiness. Reflecting this Apple's stock closed at $105.25 yesterday, a fall of $4.8125 on the day - but a rise of $73.25 since this day last year.