Apple has shot up to become the third fastest-growing technology company in the US, according to Business 2.0.

The magazine checked over 2,000 publicly traded technology firms to draw up its list of 2006's high achievers.

Apple surged from sixteenth place on the 2005 list to number three this year. The report details revenue growth of 35.4 per cent and a 2005 stock return of 123 per cent.

"2005 was another banner year for Steve Jobs and company, as Apple introduced the iPod Nano and the Mac mini computer. The debuts helped add $6.4 billion to sales without putting a dent in profit margins," the report said.

The company was pipped to the post by Red Hat and Celgene. MP3 player competitor SanDisk took fourth place.