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February 18th, 2000

[6:40 AM] The Battle For Mindshare: Apple Reclaims #1 Hardware Web Site Title
by Staff

Apple has once again claimed the #1 spot from Compaq's clutches in PCData's ranking of the Top 10 hardware web sites. Last week, Compaq shook Apple down for the honor. For the week ending 2/12/2000, Apple had 849,000 some unique visitors, 29,000 more than the previous week. While enough for the top spot, it is more than 200,000 fewer than the number of visitors Apple had two weeks ago. This marks Apple's 4th week in either the #1 or #3 position. The Top 10 hardware sites according to PC Data:

This Last Hardware % of Total Web
Audience Reached
Unique Users (000)
1. 3. 1.6% 849
2. 1. 1.5% 768
3. 5. 1.4% 733
4. 2. 1.3% 703
5. 6. 1.2% 645
6. 4. 1.2% 645
7. 7. 0.9% 499
8. 9. 0.6% 294
9. 10. 0.5% 281
10. 8. 0.5% 251

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple is clearly benefiting from their Internet strategy, despite the often fervent criticism they have received for a supposedly lackluster service. As usually, the consumer has proven Apple to be right and iTools is clearly striking a sympathetic chorus with many people. In any event, Apple is proving that they have staying power with these visitors as this is the 4th week in a row in the Top 3.

Since we began covering this particular topic, we have had some people write in with questions about how this makes Apple money. Traffic to the site benefits Apple in several ways. For one, some of that traffic will make its way to The Apple Store, but what is far more important is mind share. For instance, there were at least 849,000 people who thought about Apple at least once during this past week. That's apparently 81,000 more than thought about Compaq, at least that they can be sure of, despite Compaq's Apple crushing market share. That is certainly an over simplified concept, but the point is that Apple is competing for mindshare with its Internet strategy. As Apple continues to unveil new iTools (remember that the current 4 are the first 4), Apple will already have in place an army of visitors. Marketing deals with other companies wanting exposure to that army, and other direct revenue models, are sure to take place as Apple adds more services.


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