Rescuecom, Mac reliability, and ‘Statistics 101’

“According to new numbers released by a company I’ve never heard of before, Apple’s computer reliability rankings have suddenly fallen precipitously over the last three months, suggesting that either low cost Chinese imports are now of better quality, or that statistics are easy to get wrong,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for RoughlyDrafted.

“The numbers, reported by Computerworld, come from rankings that compare the number of tech support calls received by Rescuecom (an operation similar to Geek Squad) and the given PC maker’s market share as determined by, apparently, IDC,” Dilger writes.

“Rescuecom’s Apple-related support calls only amounted to 1.1% of the company’s calls in 2008, but in the last few months (!), they made up 2.1% of its calls. Apple’s US market share numbers were reported to be 7.8% in 2008 but Rescuecom used a 6.8% market share figure for the current quarter, resulting in a ‘reliability’ statistic calculated by Rescuecom that shifted from 700 in 2008 to the current 324,” Dilger writes. “In comparison, Asus was given a score of 972, both because that company has experienced a widening market share thanks to a surge of holiday netbook sales, but also because very few Asus owners have called Rescuecom for help.”

Dilger writes, “It’s almost painful to point out how absurd these numbers are…”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Besides Statistics 101, Rescuecom’s findings also fail the test of common sense: They simply do not mesh with multiple years of multiple third-party studies and surveys. Please see related articles.

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