Apple stands at a crossroads, transforming itself from a computer company into a global consumer electronics brand.

The transformation is likely to succeed, but there's good and bad sides to the story, observes Laptop Magazine, which notes ten good things and ten bad things regarding Apple's current direction.

Bad things include Apple's decision to sue Apple Insider, ThinkSecret and Power Page, which Laptop describes as the company, "suing its biggest fans". The cult surrounding Apple is also described as a turn-off for some potential new customers.

Idealism costs

Apple's continued affection for the single-button mouse also poses challenges: "Apple's stubborn commitment to idealistic but misguided decisions like the one-button mouse discourage many from even considering the platform," the report explains.

The popularity of Apple's iPod may in the end provoke a backlash against the company, the report warns, pointing to competition from MP3-capable mobile phones. The lack of games and existing minority marketshare could also pose problems for the Cupertino company.

Much sweet music sounds

These bum notes are countered by the sweet music around the company, not least the power of Apple's marketing engine, and the culture of curiosity that surrounds every move the company makes.

Its brick and mortar retail stores also take advantage of this - and its cutting-edge designs means: "Apple products are some of the most well thought-out available, in consumer electronics or otherwise."

The "runaway success" of iTunes Music Store, the huge selection of partners, and new focus on delivering great products at prices consumers are prepared to pay also bodes well for future fortune, according to the report's analysis.

Apple's Mac OS X and its iLife suite have also emerged as good omens, Laptop says: "When it comes to offering an easy-to-use desktop alternative to Windows that offers all the power of great open source applications (Apache, Samba) in addition to retail apps (Office, Photoshop), nothing comes close to Apple's OS X."