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New Study Says Apple is Most Reliable, Not Asus

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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 (s aapl) 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 (s hpq) 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.

20 Responses to “New Study Says Apple is Most Reliable, Not Asus”

  1. You know it’s funny. Company’s like Dell and HP cut features to get that lower price knowing that individuals like NutMotion will not bother to compare actual features. When you look at Apple, there cost is really that way because they don’t offer systems with cut features.. You can’t buy an apple with a Wireless G card.. They all have Wireless N, Bluetooth 2.1, Mid to high end video, latest in firewire, etc.

    Their main downfall is that lack of customization gives the wrong impression.. heh.. It seems like they are their own worst enemy when it comes to perception of their systems and price. Their notebooks are among the thinnest in the industry while offering the most features for their size.

    HP offers an thin Aluminum line too, did you know that? But it’s price is a good $200-400 MORE than apple. Chew on that fact. Lol

    Check it out,, it’s called HP’s ENVY line of notebooks.

    • Tim your logic is flawed. It is possible to customize a laptop with all the those features like Wireless N, Bluetooth etc. The cost is STILL significantly lower than a MacBook. (price it out for yourself)

      I really wanted to give Mac a try but the cheapest 15″ is 1700.00$. And these “high to mid-range” parts you speak of are just laughable. The 1700.00$ MacBook would probably do OK with basic games but a lot of the high demand games would likely be unplayable. I can find a 1K laptop that would run circles around a MacBook. A 1700$ hp or dell laptop would be capable of running the world.

      For 1700$ I better get what I pay for…and I just dont’ feel that Apple can fit my needs.

  2. Not supprised that Apple scored higher. As to the comments on price. I priced out a 13.3 HP about 3 months ago customizing it to have about the same hardware (CPU, MEMORY, HDD, VIDEO, ETC).. and was very supprised to see that the price difference was no where near double.. infact. they were dead even..

    So be careful when you Assume!.. :) I think HP realized that and started coming out with a few coupons and discounts.

    Bought my first Macbook Pro that week for $999(Apple Referb). After going through 3 HP’s and a Dell, using this for 3+ months, will never go back. Mac OS X + VMware Fusion for any windows Apps I might need is freakin awesome. :P

  3. AppleCare(?)

    “doesn’t matter if Macs are better as long as you have AppleCare which covers a multitude of sins”

    The sort of funny thing is that you have already paid for 3 (but received 1) Apple notebook by the time you pay waay too much for your mac and then for AppleCare(?). While their marketing is good (as if brainwashing the weak minded into a subculture of ravenous, pretentious, brand loyalists can be considered good) their products are overpriced, really, they are over priced!

    And yes, odds are, you are going to take your Apple product back to Apple before some third party repair shop. The Apple store has all their neat little trendy hipsters running around who are so eager to help, with their 1980’s Nike shoes and 5 O’clock shadow, after all.

  4. Unibody or not, the chassis is not a moving part. The new MacBook Pros ditched the mechanical latch, but that’s still a ways from “far fewer moving parts.”

  5. Consumer Reports has their members report on reliability, and according to them Apple’s desktops are significantly more reliable than any other brand, but their laptops are tied for fourth with Acer, behind Toshiba, Sony, and Compaq.

    The laptop difference between Toshiba (the best) and Apple is only three percentage points, which is barely significant according to CR. For the desktops, Apple is 5 points ahead of Compaq, the #2 brand.

  6. iphonerulez

    I guess it really doesn’t matter if Macs are better as long as you have AppleCare which covers a multitude of sins. You’d naturally figure that really cheap computers would have more problems, but I suppose that can’t be proven from this report. I believe that Dell had reported that they were losing money on a large number of repair warranties and that might indicate something is amiss.

  7. @Random
    “The methodology for the study also includes factoring in things like system construction quality and manufacturer post-sale support.”

    The second part of that statement means that Rescuecom took into account the number of people who take their laptops to the Apple Store instead of bringing bringing them to Rescuecom.

    However, the data presented her is super vague. I have a hard time believing that one group could find company being more reliable, and another finding it to be half as reliable without some obvious externalities. That kind of change just simply does not happen over the course of a month.

    It would also be nice to see some more details on how they arrived at some of the numbers here.

  8. This study can’t be close to credible. Why was it done by a repair shop and not say an agency or 10 different repair companies, including manufacturers that repair their computers. Then you compile the data from this broader findings.