Consumer-focused technology firms such as Apple seem set to reap a rich harvest as buying habits change.

In a note to clients, Bear Sterns analysts predicted that notebook sales will eclipse desktop sales by late 2007/early 2008 in the US and European markets, which will be good news for Apple and its popular portables.

Changing patterns also mean consumer sales are slowly eclipsing corporate computer sales - a significant shift which may change existing market shares in favour of consumer-focused firms, including Apple.

"The mix of notebook shipments in consumer eclipsed that of corporate for the first time in 2005," the analysts said.

Key technologies that are accelerating demand for notebooks include multicore processors, WiFi, wide screens, battery life, and pricing.