Apple seems set to exceed industry growth once again next year, a new report suggests.

Fuelled by its iPod halo, Apple seems set to ship 3.27 million notebooks next year - up 42 per cent on this year's 2.29 million, research from the Topology Research Institute declares.

Global notebook shipments next in 2006 are predicted to grow 17.8 per cent, "driven by lower pricing and the new Intel dual-core platform, which is due to be launched next month," the report explains.

In market share terms such results would give Apple 4.7 per cent of the world's notebook market, up from 3.9 per cent this year.

Topology analyst Simon Yang predicts Apple will introduce slimmer and lighter portable Macs with a "stylish design aimed at luring female users", the Taipei Times reports.

Despite Apple's predicted gains, the top five portable makers are expected to remain Dell, HP, Toshiba, Acer and Lenovo.