Analysts at Piper Jaffray expect Apple to gain market share over the next few years thanks to the iPod's halo effect.

According to the analysts, assuming "immaterial" market-share gain over the next eight quarters, the Mac's market share could rise to 2.3 per cent in calendar 2006 from 2.0 per cent in calendar 2004, writes Forbes.

Another factor that will help the company gain computer marker share is the security and performance issues associated with PCs running Microsoft Windows, said the analysts.

The analysts also noted that "continuous innovation leading to highly functional products at realistic price points," would help the company grow its market.

"It is important for investors to keep in mind that minimal upside to Mac market share estimates could have a significant impact on Apple's overall results," said Piper Jaffray, who maintained its outperform rating on the company.