Analysts from Gartner are predicting that Apple's move to Intel chips could result in "future products targeting the digital living room."

Gartner analysts Van Baker and Mike McGuire said: "This partnership could lead to the development of new product categories for consumer media consumption, including potential hub products positioned for the living room."

The analysts note Apple's strength in handling media, including audio, video and other rich-media content, and suggest it "would be a natural fit with Intel's recently announced Digital Home Group," reports The Mac Observer.

"Such moves by Apple would put further pressure on Microsoft to respond with better interfaces for its consumer media platforms," said the analysts.

Baker and McGuire recommend that companies should not switch to the new processors until at least 50 per cent of their regularly used software manufacturers have firm plans in place to convert it to the Intel platform.

The research firm also recommended that Mac users continue to use and buy PowerPC-based computers for now.