Apple stock clawed back against recent losses on a series of analyst upgrades yesterday.

Piper Jaffray and UBS both released reports designed to whet the appetite of investors. UBS predicts that Apple will launch its own virtual mobile-phone network to support the predicted iPhone, and Piper Jaffray echoes market belief that Apple will hold 4 per cent of the PC market by the end of 2007.

The company's growing success – buoyed by its Windows-supporting Boot Camp software – is inspiring analysts in a much more personal way.

Wall Street's analyst community is switching to the Mac – and PC manufacturers are running scared.

Writing in his blog, Business Week reporter Arik Hesseldahl talks about a recent HP analysts meeting.

He sat behind four analysts from Soleil-Cross Research, three of which were using MacBooks.

"Now if you've never been to a meeting full of Wall Street financial analysts, let me tell you this: seeing a Mac in the room is a rare thing," he writes in his entry, which is called 'Who says Macs aren't used in business?'.

HP CEO Mark Hurd spotted the Macs, saying: "That notebook you've got there is a challenge to us." HP 'people' actually approached the three analysts to "convince you of the error of your ways".

The Business Week reporter noted that all three analysts had been highly productive during the meeting, noting that "not a single Windows application was needed".

The analysts concerned pointed out that their problem wasn't with HP's products, but with Microsoft's software, and its propensity to attract viruses and spyware.