Apple users would gain if the company combined the operating systems running its computers with its gadgets like the iPad, said Peter Misek, analyst with Jefferies.

Besides software, Apple could be designing quad-core chips that easily handle all kinds of services, including TV, as well as movies, phone calls and Internet application. All would operate seamlessly on future products, Misek said.

Chips that merge Apple's OS X operating system for Macs with its IOS operating system for gadgets would be one part of the equation. The other would be new chips that could process all services faster and seamlessly.

"We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength," the analyst wrote.

Misek suggested a chip he dubbed "A6" could be sampled as early as mid-2012 for shipment on new products aimed for 2013, just as the Cupertino, California company plans to add more "cloud" services.

This week, technology researcher IHS iSuppli, while not commenting on this chip-software combination, suggested Apple's tight control over all aspects of its products would allow it to maintain dominance of the tablet market for the next few years. Besides tickling consumer tastes, they will pay more for a premium product.

Jefferies's Misek thinks the "merger" of the platforms could boost unit sales across the product line, and he models a 50-cent-per-share-per-year boost to EPS for "every 1% increase in unit volumes."

Misek maintained his Buy rating on Apple shares with a $500 price target.

Apple shares early Wednesday traded at $387.42, down $1.47.