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Guess what, the sky is not falling down on the PC industry, the US is not saturated with PCs, and Q3 sales - even in Europe - are looking pretty healthy.

Worldwide PC demand was strong in Q3, with sales up 18.3 per cent on the same period last year, according to market research firm IDC.

It says that fears of slowing demand for PCs are unfounded. "Concerns about the strength of the PC market appear to be more vendor and segment specific," says Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker programme.

Intel, Dell and 3dfx all blamed weak demand in Europe for failure to hit their Q3 sales targets.

Q3 saw strong consumer demand, solid demand for mobile PCs and high growth in some parts of Asia, IDC says. This offset slower growth in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe.

Dell retained pole position in the US for Q3, but it was unable to shift Compaq from top slot in the rest of the world.

The top five in the US for Q3 were (in descending order): Dell, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and IBM.

The top five in the rest of the world were Compaq, Dell, HP, IBM and Fujitsu Siemens. ®

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