Notebook sales soar in Europe

The PC market grew 15% over the same third quarter last year, driven by the increasing popularity of notebook computers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Indeed, Taiwanese manufacturer Acer has overtaken HP as the biggest seller of PCs in Europe, thanks to sales of notebook computers, according to new research from Gartner.

This is the HP first time since merging with Compaq that HP has not held the top spot in Europe, which Gartner blames on its slower entry into the mini-notebook market.

Interest in mini-notebooks - priced at under US$500 (€370) - is rising in North America, but Gartner reckons it's too early to tell if that trend is taking away sales from other lower-priced systems.

"¢ Despite speculation, Apple did not launch its a notebook, just cheaper and snazzier MacBooks. Perhaps Mr Jobs has something up his sleeve in time for Christmas - or at worst for the Consumer Electronics Show  in January in Las Vegas, where he has reputation to maintain for show-stopping.