June 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

Apple Computer leads tally of visits to hardware sites, study says

Apple led a tally of visits to manufacturers` web sites that sell computer hardware for the week ended Sun., June 15, topping second-place Hewlett-Packard by 46%. In a survey of online ads, books/music/movies led with number of impressions.

Outshining HP and Dell, Apple Computer Corp. received the most unique visitors to its web site for the week ending June 15, according to a survey by Nielsen/NetRatings of the top five web sites operated by manufacturers that sell computer hardware. Apple showed a unique audience of 3.6 million, 46% more than second-place Hewlett-Packard Co., at 2.4 million.

Apple and HP reversed rolls, however, in terms of visit time per person. Apple showed the least amount of time per visit, at 3 minutes., 44 seconds., compared to HP, which had the longest time per visit, at 19 minutes., 46 seconds.

The other manufacturers cited by Nielsen/NetRatings in the top five, with their unique audience followed by time per visitor:
-- Dell Computer Corp., 2.1 million; 8 minutes, 50 seconds
-- Gateway Computer Corp., 347,000; 9 minutes, 5 seconds
-- Toshiba, 215,000; 9 minutes, 35 seconds.

Nielsen reported that the number of unique visitors to all computer hardware manufacturers` web sites was 5.9 million. Many of these visitors would have visited multiple sites, Nielsen says.

In Nielsen`s AdRelevance survey of the top 10 retail categories by online advertising activity, the books-movies-music category--coinciding with summer releases of movies and the latest Harry Potter book--garnered the most impressions from online ads for the week ending June 15. The books-movies-music category showed 1.8 billion impressions for a 19.6% share of the 5.5 billion impressions recorded among the top 10 categories. That compares with the 17.6% share of the second-place category of personal care products, with 969 million impressions.

The other eight categories, with number of impressions and % share:
-- Miscellaneous services, 724.2 million; 13.2%;
-- Flowers and gifts, 721.4 million; 13.1%;
-- Auctions, 461.4 million; 8.4%;
-- Electronics, 190.4 million; 3.5%;
-- Apparel and jewelry, 128.2 million; 2.3%;
-- Home improvement, 113.9 million, 2.1%;
-- Recreational gear, 67.8 million; 1.2%; and
--Automotive supply and service, 66 million, 1.2%.

Nielsen noted an ad impression is counted whenever a page the ad is on is uploaded to a computer screen. The survey doesn`t verify that a site visitor actually saw or read the ad.

All online advertising data in the survey excludes house ads, or self-promotional ads that an advertiser places on its own web site.


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