January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Pre-holiday computer-related e-retail sales vary by category

Predictions that holiday sales might not live up to e-retailers' expectations this year are being re-evaluated as online sales in some categories are already starting to climb, according to online census data aggregated by OneChannel.net, which tracks online hardware sales. For the period from Oct. 21 through Nov. 17, online hardware sales are down slightly overall (3%) at the retail level, but the PC audio category shot up 36% on sales of approximately $2.7 million. Specifically, MP3 players increased 55% to achieve about $1.5 million in sales, while PC speakers jumped about 21% to hit $860,000 for the four-week period. E-retail sales of headphones enjoyed an increase, too, rising 7% to achieve sales of about $110,000. In contrast to PC audio products, PDA sales online were down more than 29% during the same four-week period. Flash memory for PDAs and cameras was up about 11.5% on revenues of about $1.6 million, and PDA accessories were up 56%, achieving sales of $376,000. OneChannel.net uses actual transaction data as reported by its retail partners. Due to retailer differences in reporting and shipping time frames, there may be up to a 3% understatement of sales in this report. These anomalies are self-correcting over time as latencies in data are normalized.

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