A number of Apple investors have revealed their thoughts and feelings about the company's stock, and expressed their gratitude towards the iPod creator.

Stephen Ciccone, an assistant professor of finance at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, told Concord Monitor: "Apple's always had a cult following, but what really made this stock explode is the new business related to the iPods."

"It's a very different company today than 20 years ago when it had the Apple IIc. Apple has kind of transformed itself into this other thing," he added.

Hot potato

Another investor, securities broker Tony Hartigan regrets not having noticed the popularity of the iPod sooner. "If I knew as soon as my kids did that iPod was red hot, I would have bought Apple stock. I don't know if iPod is going to continue to run, but whatever kids can't live without, you should take a look at the stock."

"As soon as the kids started wanting iPods, parents should have bought their kids iPods and then bought the stock themselves," he advised.

Some traders are concerned that the company cannot maintain the high share price for long. Online trader Kaszeta is thinking of cashing out his Apple stock soon. He told Concord Monitor: "It's close to peaking out. There's a lot of investor excitement obviously, but even with the tremendous growth in iPod sales I'm looking at selling off anytime now because I can't see it sustaining growth for very long."

Others are hanging on until after the stock split due to take place on 28 February 2005. Brian Winters, a 28-year-old booking agent who bought shares of Apple in 2001, said: "I need a computer, but then I read about the split and figured maybe I'd wait. I think the price is really high right now, maybe artificially high."