Apple is gaining market share in the US, according to Merrill Lynch.

The company took 3.6 per cent of total US-based PC shipments in the March quarter, from 2.6 per cent in the year-ago quarter, Apple Insider reports.

Analyst Steve Milunovich called these figures "solid evidence of the halo effect." Milunovich also predicts new iMac and eMac systems will ship soon in order to capitalise on the anticipated buzz surrounding Mac OS X 10.4 when it ships tomorrow.

Merrill lynch rates Apple a 'Buy' at a $51 per share target price.

"We think investors should be attracted to Apple," Milunovich said.