European notebook sales in the fourth quarter were up 30 per cent from last year, with Apple leading the way, according to figures from technology analyst Canalys.
The firm said that Apple's notebook shipments rose by 64 per cent, making it the fastest growing vendor. Acer, Toshiba and NEC also had a good year, driven largely by consumers taking advantage of highly competitive prices.
"The current explosion in digital home applications is luring a new breed of technology consumer into Europe's IT retail stores, where they are exposed to highly attractive notebook price points," said Alastair Edwards, Canalys senior analyst.
"In addition, the need for additional processing power to run applications such as photo and video editing, along with the digital music phenomenon led by Apple, is promoting faster notebook replacement cycles in the consumer market.
"This may not be contributing to healthy bottom lines for retailers on notebooks, but it is driving volumes and the potential to up-sell and cross-sell into the digital home segment."
Desktop sales grew by 11 per cent and servers by 12 per cent. HP retained its top position in the market, but Dell increased its sales faster and is catching up quickly.
IBM's deal with Chinese manufacturer Lenovo does not seem to have hurt customer confidence, Canalys noted, as Big Blue's overall sales were up 19 per cent.
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