Apple has confirmed that it's taken the number one spot in the western European education market.

Apple's education market share in western Europe is now 15.2 per cent, relegating Dell, with 14.7 per cent, to second place.

Gartner analyst Isabelle Durand confirmed: "During the fourth quarter 2005, Apple became the number one PC vendor in the Western European Education market. The company has continued to grow very strongly (+22.4 per cent) and achieved a 15.2 per cent of market share in Q4 2005."

Durand also confirmed that according to Gartner figures, "Apple market share in the UK education market during the fourth quarter 2005 was 12.5 per cent."

The biggest success story for Apple was Switzerland. In that country Apple holds the number one spot in education with an amazing 54.4 per cent share. In France Apple is number one with 19.5 per cent education market share. Apple is also number one in Sweden with 15.2 per cent of their education market. In Germany Apple is in second place with a share of 15.6 per cent.

Speaking with Macworld recently about his company's strategy in the educaton market, Apple UK general manager Mark Rogers said: "We have gained significantly in the last few years. It’s only in the last few years we have emerged in Europe."

Dell now holds 14.7 per cent of the education market in western Europe. In third place is HP with 14.2 per cent followed by Acer with 9.5 per cent, and Fujitsu with 7.8 per cent. The remaining "other" PC vendors hold 38.6 per cent.

Recent figures reveal that Apple is still second to Dell in the US education market, where Apple has 22-23 per cent market share.