The new iMac could help Apple achieve a small, but significant increase in its PC market share.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told BusinessWeek: "If Apple can boost its global market share in PCs by just a half-percentage point, to 2.5 per cent by 2006, it could boost revenues over current estimates by 24 per cent, to $12 billion, and earnings by 23 per cent, to $491 million."

Apple may be hoping to win over iPod users with the aesthetics of the new iMac – the tag line for the new iMac is: "From the makers of iPod". Merrill Lynch analyst John Roy said: "It may be a stretch to get the iPod generation to embrace the Mac. But they might consider it."

In much the same way as some analysts are predicting that the iPod may help sell the iMac, the iMac may help Apple sell its other products. BusinessWeek predicts that the new iMac might bring more shoppers into one of Apple's stores. The report notes that Piper Jaffray says fourth-quarter retail sales could hit $420 million – up 54 per cent from last year.

However, the report states that: "For all the hype about the iMac, though, the biggest contributor to a Mac resurgence would likely be Apple's PowerBook notebook and its cheaper cousin, the iBook."

"Since the notebook market is expected to grow three times faster than the market for desktops, Apple stands to gain ground if it can maintain that momentum," says BusinessWeek.