Apple's resurgence isn't entirely dependent on the success of its iPod - the company's retail outlets are also essential.

A report on investor's website The Street points out that the stores have, "given Apple a chance to showcase its products', and states they may be a "significant reason" for the company's growing market share.

IDC analyst Del Prete agrees, saying: "Clearly, Apple's products are experiential in their nature. They are something people want to go and touch. That's something the stores provide."

Growth may wane one day

The report warns that growth in Apple's still relatively-young retail segment may slow down, eventually.

"Growth does tend to level out," Craig Johnson, president of retail industry consulting firm Customer Growth Partners told The Street.

The report does explain the Apple's successes: the growing size of its chain; the average $5.3 million quarterly revenue per store and Apple's success transforming the segment from relative unprofitability in the start-up period to the profit-making concern it boasts today.

Fear, uncertainty, doubt

Despite this, the report continues to explore a list of potential long-term problems the company may or may not face.

Despite stark warnings based on the knowledge that retail outlets eventually see slowing growth, the jury remains out on Apple.

Ernst and Young analyst Jay McIntosh observed: "There's a lot of risk there. It's a different business than manufacturing."

Speaking specifically of Apple, the analyst waxes more positive: "If you're a manufacturer that has a unique product, if you're an innovator, that would give you an edge."