Apple investors cheered the company's latest earnings report, an occasion that gave Steve Jobs the opportunity to brag that sales of Apple's Macintosh computers were outpacing the rest of the industry. Now, far be it from me to suggest that Steve is anything less than the master of his domain; but could it be possible that Mac sales are outpacing PCs because they're comparatively unpopular, and have the most room to grow?

Over at BusinessWeek's Tech Beat blog, Stephen Wildstrom suggests that the Mac's market is smaller and more exclusive because Apple wants it to be. Apple doesn't really want corporate business, notes Wildstrom, and based on its recent earnings reports, it doesn't need it. Apple is very, very happy being the BMW of computer companies, and serving the enterprise market forces you to be Chevrolet or, at best, Toyota. (I would've gone with a Volkswagen/Ford Taurus comparison, myself...)

So, with Apple refusing to go corporate, what does this mean for the Mac's future growth prospects? Wildstrom suggests that smaller and mid-sized businesses might latch onto the simplicity and reliability of Macs.

Meanwhile, Apple shares seem determined to take out the 200 level by year's end. The stock closed yesterday just short of the 190 mark, which has provided a bit of resistance during recent sessions. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 1.0 indicates that puts and calls are at parity among near-term options, as investors seem less sure than before that Apple can continue its ascent.