Analysts this week are offering divided forecasts regarding Apple's future fortunes.

UBS yesterday observed that a "key risk" for Apple in the near term "remains IBM's ability to produce enough G5 chips". Prudential Equity Group described similar concerns this week.

While the analysts believe IBM is devoting more resources to bring production yields up to requirements, production issues remain. This means Power Mac shipments may face delays until early 2005, and the new iMac could be in short supply on launch. However, other products in Apple's arsenal could "insulate it somewhat".

Music drives growth

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is more optimistic as to Apple's fortunes, maintaining an "outperform" rating on the company.

The analyst points to industry data - data he describes as "suggesting the creative professional computer market has rebounded". Munster predicts 9 per cent Mac sales growth year-on-year for the September quarter, with long-term growth driven by Apple's music-related solutions.

Apple shares climbed 9 cents yesterday, closing at $30.87.