Special to CNET News.com
The popularity of the iPod could be boosting Apple Computer's financials in unexpected ways.
According to a survey of iPod users by financial analysis firm Piper Jaffray, Macs are basking in the reflected glory of the iPod, with some who own the music player saying they have already or are intending to ditch their PCs for Macs.
The research found that 6 percent of iPod users have made the switch. An additional 7 percent said they are planning to dump their old PC for an Apple machine, according to the survey.
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst, said the iPod halo effect will make a difference to Apple for a while to come.
"We're in the very early innings of a multiyear trend," he said.
Among the factors influencing the PC-dumping crowd are ease of use, a focus on entertainment and the perception of better security.
The switchers, according to Munster, tend to be people who aren't necessarily techie types.
"A lot of people, with all due respect, don't understand the technology...They're people with money, not tech people," he said.
While Apple might see a healthy period ahead, to turn the advantage into long-term gain the company has to keep setting the design trends, according to the analysts.
"They've got to keep that 'cool factor' going," Munster said. "If they don't, they're in trouble."
Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.