Last month, I reported the results of a study detailing notebook reliability numbers. Many commenters disagreed with the results of the study by U.S. warranty company SquareTrade, and provided excellent reasons for doing so. Today, another study reinforces the opinion unsurprisingly shared by many of our readers; namely, that Apple is indeed the top computer maker when it comes to reliability.
The new study, by Rescuecom, which is a U.S. firm specializing in computer repair, puts Apple at the top of the list when ranking computer makers. Previous studies by the repair franchise had seen Asus take the top spot, in keeping with the results of the SquareTrade study, but the most recent numbers (Q3 2009) show Apple with a commanding lead, according to Electronista.
Apple scored 374, which is more than double Asus’ 166. The PC maker scored third. Rescuecom’s rankings are based on the numbers of machines that it sees come in for repairs, as measured against the number of computers each company ships. The methodology for the study also includes factoring in things like system construction quality and manufacturer post-sale support, in order to bring some influence outside of Rescuecom’s operation to the table. Apple’s sales accounted for nine percent of the market in Q3, while only making up 2.4 percent of Rescuecom’s repair calls.
CEO David Millman suggests that Asus’ recent slip may be due to the growing presence of netbooks in its lineup of offerings. “Now that many of the netbooks by ASUS have been out for a while, there is obviously a higher need for service,” said Millman. It’s true that while Asus makes some of the most sturdy netbooks around, to achieve the incredibly low price points they offer to consumers, corners have to be cut in parts and manufacturing quality.
Lenovo also fared better in Rescuecom’s study, placing a strong second behind Apple with a score of 320. Toshiba and HP rounded out the top five with fourth and fifth place scores of 165 and 134, respectively. The common thread? All of these manufacturers offer at least one netbook-type computer.
There’s no way of saying for certain that low-cost netbooks are definitively affecting the reliability scores of computer makers, but it is beginning to look like Apple was wise to abstain from joining the fray, at least in this regard (though not in others). No doubt Apple’s introduction of unibody aluminum construction, which requires far fewer moving parts and better overall structural strength is also contributing to its increasing product dependability.