Apple tripled iBook shipments to the US-education sector during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2001.

Educational sales of Apple's consumer portable grew 205 per cent in the quarter. Analysts firm International Data Corporation see Apple as the leading supplier of portable computers to the US education districts for calendar year 2000. The company captured 18.2 per cent of the US education market for portable computers in 2000.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was pleased with the news, particularly given the current economic climate. He said: "iBook sales to education tripled last quarter, further strengthening Apple's position as the leader in education portables. Districts, schools and administrators, along with teachers, students and parents really love the iBook."

The company refreshed its iBook and PowerBook range on Tuesday, introducing faster processors and a variety of upgrades - all delivered at similar prices to previous models. Three iBooks are available at a maximum 600MHz, with CD-RW/DVD, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM configurations available. Apple's enhanced PowerBook range features 500MHz and 667MHz models with a variety of under-the-hood improvements delivering better graphics and "vastly improved" system efficiency.