Wall Street Analyst Bullish About Mac Sales

Appleis strong showing in a brand survey conducted by Consumer Reports make "buyers more comfortable ithinking differenti," Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich said in a note sent to clients Tuesday.

Coupled with the iPodis "halo effect," Appleis continued leadership in the digital lifestyle space, and the minimal threat of viruses, Milunovich feels the Mac platform will continue to grow.

"Concrete evidence of the halo effect appeared last quarter with 26% Mac unit growth. Stores continue to enjoy high traffic from our checks. Apple is bringing new users into the tent, some of whom can be sold up into Macs," Milunovich wrote.

"Appleis ability to create reliable products and back them up with on-line and retail outlet expertise are differentiators. Because ease of use is critical for consumers, Apple?s reputation as having product experts who care at the ready matters."