Apple UK has seen its overall UK Mac shipments climb 27 per cent year-on-year, an IDC UK analyst confirmed last night.

IDC senior research analyst Ian Gibb told Macworld: "If Apple continues to shift units - which is very possible if demand for Mac minis remains sustained - then further market share gains could be made over the coming quarters."

Apple's UK market share is climbing, albeit slowly, he confirmed, "market share has risen only marginally to 2.2 per cent", he explained, stressing that Apple's desktop shipments: "Have been very strong, expanding by 45 per cent year-on-year and increasing desktop market share from 1.5-2 per cent."

Notebook slowdown requires action

In recent years, Apple's success in the European market has been driven by a higher than industry average acceleration in notebook sales. Apple's success in this area is slowing down, IDC confirmed.

Figures released by IDC in August 2004 showed that year-on-year Apple's UK notebook shipments grew 41.3 per cent.

Gibbs said: "Notebook sales have only grown by 9.6 per cent year-on-year, much slower than the notebook market as a whole." He observed that Apple is now facing "stiff competition" in the notebook sector from "cheaper Wintel alternatives".

Returning to desktops, Apple's new-found success in this segment has clearly been helped by the launch of the Mac mini.

Praise for Mac mini, iPod

"Desktop growth has undoubtedly been strong due to the Mac mini. Apple has typically generated a great deal of interest, subsequently seeing demand outstrip supply, creating further market hype."

He also praised Apple's aggressive Mac mini pricing: "Apple", he said, "is reaching previously unattainable price points and has taken far more credible steps into the commoditized market".

Gibbs also observed the positive impact of Apple's success with its iPod products, saying: "Apple's consumer brand name has undoubtedly been enhanced by the iPod."

He noted a trend that may lead Apple toward further gains, the company's brand is, "now being leveraged into the PC space as users are being encouraged to make the switch from Wintel to Apple systems."