While analysts are praising Apple for growing its software business, some industry players are complaining that this is at the expense of other software developers.

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu told San Francisco Gate: "The software business has been growing quite robustly. They have more software packages in there, and the operating system upgrades are definitely important."

IDC analyst Roger Kay said: "Part of making your own software is to deliver a smooth experience for the user, which is so much an Apple signature thing. Software is the glue that holds the hardware together."

Not so Nisus

Apple's iWork package, designed to help users create, present and publish professional-looking documents and presentations, is not a serious competitor to Microsoft Word, being more of a collection of productivity software than a word processor, but it has already stirred up the competition.

Makers of NisusWriter Express, Nisus Software has already expressed its concerns. Managing director Charles Jolley said: "It really has affected us in that area. Obviously, Apple is going after the same market."

Elements of Photoshop

Other companies are less concerned. The latest version of iPhoto includes photo-editing features that could compete with those offered in Adobe's Photoshop Elements 3.0.

But director of consumer digital imaging and video products Tapan Bhat said: "Our product still has many more features than the newly revamped iPhoto and I believe hobbyists will continue to lean on Photoshop Elements".