Apple leads PC Magazine’s 16th annual Service and Reliability Survey

The 18,000 subscribers surveyed by PC Magazine for their 16th annual Service and Reliability Survey were more content this year than in 2002 about the reliability and available technical support for their computers.

Apple Computer led the desktop PC category, scoring an A+ along with Dell, tying the Mac maker. Sony got an A, as did ABS Computer Technologies, a maker of PCs geared toward value-conscious buyers and video game players.

In laptop or notebook computers, the top grades went to Apple. IBM and Toshiba also tied for top grade. Dell followed with a B+.

In the server category, Apple placed first in overall satisfaction, tied with Dell.

One need only read the report to see that only the Mac OS X-based computers from Apple placed consistently first in desktops, laptops, and servers. Might this report open a few more eyes?

Full report here.

MacDailyNews Take: It is very interesting and informative to see how the “mainstream” press treats this story, most notably The Associated Press. The AP story below will be repeated verbatim in thousands of media outlets around the world for the next few days. This is where the vast majority of people (potential computer buyers) will read of the PC Mag survey, not from the survey itself. This is how “Wintel” propagates itself. It obsures enough real information to create a virtual lie. This succinctly illustrates why Apple struggles so for the hearts and minds of computer buyers. The AP story including their headline:

Users Shouting At Computers Less

Dell Tops Satisfaction Survey

NEW YORK (AP) — Computer users aren’t shouting at their screens quite as much.

PC Magazine says a survey of 18,000 subscribers found that consumers are more satisfied with their computers — and a major reason is Windows XP.

The magazine said Microsoft’s newest operating system has made PCs seem more stable and reliable.

For the 12th year out of the last 13, Dell’s desktop PCs scored highest, and this year Dell shares top honors with Apple. But the merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq did nothing for their desktops, which got the lowest possible grades.

For laptops, IBM, Toshiba and Apple ranked highest.

The magazine said the biggest complaint among computer users is with technical support people who are hard to understand because that work has been moved overseas to cut costs.

AP story here.

Read the report directly from PC Magazine. Pay attention to the charts a few pages in and see what conclusion you come up with. We stand by our report and our headline.


  1. How exactly does Apple lead the PC desktop category if it TIES Dell???

    And as for server category, once again how can Apple place first AND tie with Dell? Either you’re number 1 or you’re tied, not both. Obviously someone at MDN doesn’t understand these basic concepts.

    Also, for ther server category, you mean the 3 people using their Macs for servers were happy with service and reliability??? That means much… (I’m actually more surprised that Dell got approval ratings for their servers since they now have a fairly large marketshare in that category) (If you read the article, <2% of the users surveyed used Mac OS which is not a good statistical base)

    My final note on this survey (besides surveys are _the_ lowest form of research and investigation) is it was only answered by PC Mag subscribers who are basicly PC tinkerers–not real IT professionals.

  2. Those using the Dells most probably DO NOT have Mac experience, but most of the Mac users are forced to use Windows at work, so who’s opinion matters most? Those choosing Dell have no idea what they’re missing out on, while those choosing Apple Mac understand that you only live once, so you deserve THE BEST. Anybody who chooses to spend 8+ hours a day on a Windows PC has never really tried Mac OS X.

  3. humph,

    Desktops: Apple received the highest grade.
    Laptops: Apple received the highest grade.
    Servers: Apple received the highest grade.

    No other PC maker can say what I just wrote, hence Apple leads.

  4. Granted some PC mag subscribers are weekend warriors, however I have a feeling that some of them, myself included, live and die by their computers for work. We use 9 macs at my companies photo studio, high volume product photography and I can say that we practically never have to call Apple for help.

    So even though I’m not an IT professional by name, I practically act as the IT department for our studio and can say that Apple’s are VERY reliable.

  5. The AP article is as skewed one direction as MDN’s is the other direction. However, short of the sub-title, at least The AP used the facts from the article (unlike MDN)

    As for Atomic Bomb and Mark, you’re not reading the MDN statements carefully enough. I’m not referring to the headline MacDailyNews has created but the text within their “article”. For instance:

    “Apple Computer led the desktop PC category,”

    is an incorrect statement.

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