Computer shipments in Europe grew in the first quarter of 2001 compared to the same quarter last year, according to data released by IDC.

PC shipments grew by 4.4 per cent in Europe as a whole, and 5.8 per cent in Western Europe.

Notebook sales were up over 18 per cent. This reflected the success of Apple's Titanium PowerBook G4. The company announced sales of 115,000 units for the Titanium PowerBook G4 world-wide, and an overall increase in PowerBook sales of 173 per cent at its first-quarter financial announcement.

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs hailed the Titanium PowerBook as "a major breakthrough in notebook computers".

IDC's data showed that despite an increase of 6.4 per cent in retail, the UK's PC market is still suffering from low consumer confidence.

Karine Paoli, expertise centre manager of IDC's EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa ) personal computing group, said: "If the consumer market has not yet reached saturation point in Europe, it's because the attraction for other devices – such as mobile phones, or digital cameras – has contributed to a shift away from traditional PC purchases. The development of more attractive notebooks and other mobile devices, however, will help stimulate new consumer demand and create new market opportunities."