Apple may ship an Intel-powered iBook as soon as April.

Responding to a gloomy assessment from the Banc of America yesterday, UBS analyst Benjamin Reitzes told clients: "We remain confident in Apple's potential for new products," according to Reuters.

Reitzes also warned that the clamour of fear about the impact of the Intel transition on Apple's short-term hardware sales may be an overreaction.

He did suggest that Apple's professional users may be playing a waiting game for Intel-ready versions of the applications they use to ship. However, at present the only Intel-powered pro product, the MacBook Pro, hasn't shipped.

The analyst expects new iBooks to ship as soon as April. Other potential new products this year include a media hub, updated iPods, a media player and even a mobile phone, he said, as reported by Apple Insider.

Apple shares clawed back some of their recent 17 per cent losses, rising 6.3 per cent in response to Reitzes' revelations, to close at $75.

"We still expect significant Mac growth long-term with 29 per cent unit growth forecast for fiscal year 2007," Reitzes said.