Apple continues to gain ground in the consumer markets, as the iPod halo continues to shine and iPhone attracts users to the brand.

The latest indicators that Mac marketshare is rising rapidly confirm a move in the consumer electronics market away from former incumbents and toward Apple, as the company continues to reap the benefits of investing its way through the last economic downturn.

Piper Jaffray's chief Apple analyst, Gene Munster, believes Apple now holds 21 per cent of the consumer market, and will extend its reach in that market in future.

Munster notes that after Apple introduced the Intel Macs, Mac sales grew 37 per cent in 2007, more than double the industry-wide rate of 15 per cent.

The analyst also expects upgraded iMacs and Mac minis in the next three months and speculates on redesigned MacBooks and MacBook Pros appearing in time for the 2008 education buying season, claims a report on Fortune.

IDC reports Apple's global marketshare has grown to 2.9 per cent in 2007, up from 2.4 per cent in 2006. Munster argues that if enterprise sales are removed from the equation, the true market share is now 10 per cent worldwide, and 21 per cent in the US consumer markets.

The analyst also notes that consumers think that Macs are around 20-30 per cent more expensive than competing computers, but that the price difference is actually 16 per cent for desktops and 9 per cent for laptops.

These aren't the only signs of Mac resurgence. The latest NetApplications figures for online marketshare indicate Apple holds 7.58 per cent of all US internet users, with the iPhone emerging as the fourth most used platform for internet browsing, with 0.15 per cent of total.