Consumer Reports: Apple’s Macs the most reliable by wide margin

In Consumer Reports‘ latest survey, almost 83,000 readers shared their experiences with computers,” Robin Harris reports for ZDNet. “Not everyone was pleased.”

“In laptops and desktops Apple was the most reliable. Plus it’s tech support was – by far – the highest rated,” Harris reports. “Since I last wrote about CR’s results, their survey has used a broader definition of problems. According to CR’s James McQueen they now ask people: ‘To recall if their laptop has broken or stopped working as well in the past couple years since they bought it. Specifically, we ask about laptops that have been purchased new from 2012 through 2016, and predict the breakage rates at 3 years of ownership.'”

“Among the top laptop brands, Apple’s “broken or not working as well” percentage is 17. Other brand percentages: Samsung 27; Dell 29; HP 30; Lenovo 31; and Asus 33,” Harris reports. “Among desktops Apple’s trouble rate is 15 percent. Other brands: Lenovo 24; Samsung 25; Dell 27; HP 27; and Asus 29.”

“The differences are even more stark on tech support,” Harris reports. “The reader score for Apple was 82, while number 2 Microsoft earned a 68, with Dell at 56. A reader score of 80, means respondents are very satisfied on average; 60, fairly well-satisfied; and 40, somewhat dissatisfied.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shocker.

Even Consumer Reports‘ readership of grandma’s looking for ratings on vacuum cleaners gets it.

Those who buy Macs value their time and understand Total Cost of Ownership; those who fail to buy Macs don’t.

Apple Macintosh continues to dominate in personal computer customer satisfaction – September 23, 2014
Apple Macintosh continues to dominate in personal computer customer satisfaction – September 17, 2013
Apple sweeps PCWorld Satisfaction Surveys for desktops, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets – December 7, 2011
Apple Mac tops American Customer Satisfaction Index customer satisfaction for 8th consecutive year – September 20, 2011
American Customer Satisfaction Index: Apple Mac dominates for seventh straight year – September 21, 2010
ACSI: Apple Mac again leads Windows PCs by wide margin in consumer satisfaction – August 18, 2009
Study: Apple beats Dell and HP in customer satisfaction – June 26, 2009
J.D. Power: Apple iPhone ranks highest in smartphone customer satisfaction – April 30, 2009
Survey: Apple Mac users report highest level of satisfaction by far – February 19, 2009
ChangeWave: Apple Mac holds its corporate share; clearly leads in corp customer satisfaction – December 31, 2008
ChangeWave: Apple iPhone’s ‘very satisfied’ rating more than double that of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm – December 22, 2008
J.D. Power: Apple iPhone ranks highest in business wireless smartphone customer satisfaction – November 06, 2008
ACSI: Customer satisfaction rockets for Apple’s Mac; rest of Windows PC industry drops again – August 19, 2008
ChangeWave: Mac OS X Leopard satisfaction far outpaces Vista; Apple Mac strong despite PC slowdown – March 26, 2008
ChangeWave: Apple iPhone maintains big lead in customer satisfaction; top choice among likely buyers – February 07, 2008
ChangeWave survey shows big Apple Mac sales, very high Mac OS X Leopard, very low Vista satisfaction – January 17, 2008
ChangeWave: Apple’s iPhone races to huge lead in customer satisfaction – October 18, 2007
Apple Mac desktops, notebooks top PC Magazine’s Annual Reader Satisfaction survey – again – September 18, 2007
Survey: Apple iPhone nabs unprecedented 92% satisfaction rating (plus likes and dislikes) – August 16, 2007
Study: Apple iPhone owners ‘off the charts’ satisfied with device – July 13, 2007
Microsoft’s customer satisfaction drops following Windows Vista launch – May 17, 2007
Apple’s secret ingredient? A large group of very satisfied customers – April 10, 2007
Apple Mac desktops, notebooks top PC Magazine’s Annual Reader Satisfaction survey – again – August 22, 2006
Apple Computer tops PC satisfaction study – August 15, 2006
Apple Mac desktops, portables top PC Magazine’s 2005 Reader Satisfaction survey – August 24, 2005
Apple continues to lead in customer satisfaction, Dell loses more ground – August 16, 2005
Apple Macintosh leads in personal computer customer satisfaction – August 24, 2004
Apple Macs top PC Magazine’s ‘17th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey’ – August 10, 2004


    1. Like Trump, MDN deals in hypocrisy. MDN praises evidence that supports its world view, even as it castigates the very same source on nearly every other occasion.

      This is eerily similar to Trump and the the February unemployment report, which pleased Trump (even though it was almost identical to the numbers from the previous two years under Obama). After questioning the validity of previous reports as “phony unemployment numbers,” Trump called the February numbers “very real now.”

      In May, however, U.S. employers added the fewest workers in six years (only 38,000), much less than expected. I suppose that the numbers just became phony again?

      1. Wow, Trump? Everything is not political and those that turn everything into it are hated by everyone.

        He won. He is not a good person (insert your own reason). He is the President. Now stop it.

        Now back to our regularly scheduled comments…

  1. The only “bad Mac” I ever owned was a 2005 G5 Power Mac which went through 3 logic boards. I paid for initial problems but when it was getting out of hand I took it to Apple and even though it wasn’t covered by Apple Care they repaired it for free nonetheless (some $2500 worth of repairs) and had also offered to replace it for free with a then new Intel 2006 Mac Pro.

    I had to take the G5 back though because of technical reasons but in hindsight wish I had been able to take the Mac Pro 2006 instead. The G5 Mac (doing minor tasks off to the side) finally went dead about a year ago and I recycled her back to Apple. I replaced that with a 2000 Power Mac that looks and works like brand new – now 17 years old! But that will be gone soon too as I radically upgrade systems. Of course I would have gotten a newer Mac Pro a year ago if Apple had something in that area that worked for my purposes.

  2. I only wish CR asked additional questions, starting with a few here:

    Does your computer manufacturer update products annually with the latest processors, video cards, expandability, etc. I suspect the results would be just the OPPOSITE and not in Apple’s favor …

      1. I really wish snowflakes could handle the truth, good and bad regarding Apple. Adults certainly can with ease.

        Regarding broken records, well, judging from the avatar looks like you are new around here. All regular posters on MDN overwhelming have their pet subjects they continuously talk about going back years. And you have a problem with that?

        Back to the basement, sonny …

        1. When I think of forums, I think of Ancient Rome. I think of the MacDailyNews comment section as a forum, benevolently presided over by Emperor SteveJack and the Vestal Virgins whose delicate hands tap the kegs at his bidding every Friday. At times the forum overlaps in my imagination with the Imperial Games at the Colloseum, wherein prisoners of war, Christian rabble-rousers, and philosophers were pitted against packs of jackals and starved lions.

          — Other forums I have escaped from with my vitals barely intact, such as Reddit and Slashdot, remind me more of the less-civilised barbarians who repeatedly laid waste to Rome, eventually ushering in the Dark Ages.

          I only mention all this because you pointed out that regular posters on MDN have their pet subjects. Mine is comparing the rise of technology with ancient history, riffing on the media’s obsessive-compulsive need to equate competition to warfare. Even MDN has repeatedly invoked bloody imagery to celebrate Apple’s conquests over the years.

          But there hasn’t been much blood drawn by Apple lately, and idle knights-errant and fans in the amphitheatre are growing restive. Needless to say, snowflakes need not apply.

          1. Your opening line is full of rich history and intertwined with applicable tech analogies as is the rest.

            Your post, “Mine is comparing the rise of technology with ancient history, riffing on the media’s obsessive-compulsive need to equate competition to warfare” is indeed insightful, fascinating reading and shows true grit for your subjects. Well done … ⚔🛡

    1. No, GoeB, they did not ask that question, because this was a reliability survey. It was not a general study of the brand, but a comparison of the repair history for Macs and their competitors. Your proposed question is simply irrelevant.

      Similarly, when Consumer Reports is doing automobile reliability surveys, they don’t ask the owners of a 2015 Ford whether the company has come out with any new models since they bought theirs. The only relevant question is whether their 2015 Ford was a lemon.

      The Consumer Reports survey showed that Macs aren’t lemons. You are entitled to disagree, but please make a minimal effort to talk about the same subject instead of bringing up something that has nothing to do with product reliability.

      At least you didn’t mention Tim Cook, Donald Trump, or Bill Cosby this time. Thank you for that much.

      1. “No, GoeB, they did not ask that question, because this was a reliability survey.”

        No sh*t Sherlock. We all know Apple hardware is bullet proof and better than the rest. I did not need CR to tell me that using Apple hardware at home exclusively for over 30 years, PCs and Macs at work.

        This selective survey, an outdated model possibly, or not — leaves out Apple is still selling a five-year old high end MacPro at premium prices and the rest of the hardware lineup lags behind the industry inupdates. Nothing wrong with thinking out loud and more importantly — outside the box. Unless of course you are anal retentive, TxUser.

        “At least you didn’t mention Tim Cook, Donald Trump, or Bill Cosby this time. Thank you for that much.”

        Clueless Cook still needs to move along with the rest of the fashionistas and diversity hires, wasted money, courtesy of Cook’s watch. Bring back the great influence of the Mac techs and a CEO that knows how to use professional hardware AND software products and also values Apple displays.

        President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip … Awesome!

        Cosby jury selection is about to determine his faith in the short run …

      1. MDN has been known to change their mind, but even then only when they recognised the profit handwriting on the wall. An example is their initial enthusiasm for the “unapologetically plastic” iPhone 5C, later replaced by an emphasis on the massive upselling of the 5s that resulted in bumping up iPhone ASP. Another example is the triple flip-flop on iPhone size, cheerleading first for SJ’s “ideal” 3.5 inch, then the 4 inch, then the plus size, then becoming an apologist for the throwback SE. In these instances and others, MDN is following the money and acting as an Apple marketing surrogate, predictably so because they run the site expressly to support the value of their AAPL shares, their main business model (otherwise, they wouldn’t observe every stock market holiday).

        Calling such strong advocacy “propaganda” is something of a swipe at their brand favouritism, but it fits better than “fanboyism,” which MDN has frequently been accused of, usually by trolls. Fanboys are uncritical boosters of the brand. MDN is hardly uncritical—they’re as likely to blast Tim Cook for making a chump move, or for sleeping at the wheel, as they are to praise his championing of privacy, sustainable energy use, and other social concerns known to be popular amongst their buying customers. In every case, MDN has chosen to emphasise the underpinnings of the free market, notably where they benefit Apple’s market valuation and enrich shareholders, starting with themselves. I see nothing wrong with that.

        1. Well said! Totally agree. Thanks for taking the time on a holiday weekend to lay out a convincing case and enjoy the many seasonal bountiful foods … 🍑🍔🍒🌭🍉🍤🍓🍗🍧🍹🍷

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