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Third quarter worldwide PC shipments have dropped 11.6 percent to 30.6 million units (last year this time 34.6 million units were shipped). Dell extended its lead in this market, growing from 11 per cent to 13.8 per cent, according to a Dataquest market report.

Compaq's piece of the pie shrank from 13.4 to 10.4 per cent in the silver position, while Big Blue took bronze at 6.6 per cent (down from 7.0 per cent). HP narrowly missed the winner's podium with 6.4 per cent (all of these figures reflect year on year changes, rather than quarterly).

The report continues with less than happy news about the future, predicting no great sales forthcoming in 2002. A corresponding report, from rival number-cruncher IDC, predicts that growth will only be seen again in 2003 and will be in the single figures.

Both analysts show that the US has been taking bigger hits than any other market. IDC shows a US PC shipment decline of 21 percent (compared to its figure of 13.7 percent for global Q3 decline). Gateway was ranked as the fourth largest PC seller in the US but has essentially disappeared on the global radar.

They also mention that Compaq may have suffered more than expected due to the proposed HP deal. ®

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