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Apple ousts ASUS as most reliable in new study

updated 09:35 am EST, Mon December 7, 2009

ASUS' netbook quality lets Apple take lead

Apple has taken the lead as the most reliable computer maker thanks to ASUS' over-dependence on netbooks, a new RESCUECOM study says. Where ASUS led the rankings in the third quarter of 2008 and in the spring this year, Apple has surged back to earn a reliability score of 374 for the third quarter this year, or more than twice ASUS' third-place 166 score. Much of ASUS' fall is attributed to first-wave Eee PC netbooks getting older and failing in relatively large numbers due to their poorer build quality.

"Now that many of the netbooks by ASUS have been out for a while, there is obviously a higher need for service," the repair firm's CEO David Millman says.

While the results are dependent on the ratio of computers shipped versus the number of requests for help that RESCUECOM receives and can fluctuate, the company notes that it's counting not just the construction of the system but the post-sale support from the manufacturer itself, taking some of its own influence out of the equation. Apple accounted for about 9 percent of US PC shipments in the summer but only made up 2.4 percent of calls.

Apple's lead was considerably narrower over second-place Lenovo, which reached 320 points, but fared much better against much larger competitors. Toshiba reached fourth place with a score of 165, while HP and its Compaq label were a distant fifth with 134. HP's ratio was especially poor; while it shipped 24.9 percent of computers, it represented 18.5 percent of support calls.

The shift partly supports Apple's distaste for netbooks. Executives have often commented that they don't believe they can produce a high-quality system at the sub-$500 prices demanded by the category. It has also avoided going significantly under $1,000 even for full-size notebooks due to similar concerns and has lately focused on components that are more likely to last, such as the stiffer unibody shell in all MacBooks and a preference for slot-loading optical drives that don't have a tray to break.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. psdenno

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003


    Classic case of.....

    You Get what You Pay For.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Shocked! I tell ya.

    Who knew?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    Ohhh a group of expensive high-end computers is more reliable than a group of high-end, mid-end, and low-end computers. I never would have seen this coming.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    you know what we did see coming from a mile off? Another of your asinine trolling comments.

  1. TomSawyer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    With laptop/netbook sales rising

    Apple's lead is quite likely to do nothing but increase over less expensive brands. Between the use of better manufacturing processes (unibody) and utilizing more damage resistant components (slot-drives and MAGSAFE), as psdenno claimed "you get what you pay for."

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    Does the Study...

    ...include all those new iMacs falling apart upon first boot???

    Apple.... It "Just Works".


  1. ibugv4

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003



    We bought a MacBook and 3 Netbooks in 2008. (The three netbooks didn't even cover the MSRP of the MacBook even with sales tax).

    Only the Netbooks remain. They're all Asus. The Mac, like the iPhone, led to a miserable customer experience at the so-called Genius bar and finally it being sold on Craigslist because it shouldn't need 3 repairs to the motherboard and plastic cause in 8 months.

    We love the Asus. We've spilled hot wax one one, dropped another off the balcony into the garden, and they keep ticking. Would buy another one, recommend it to anyone.

    My opinion went from Macs are great to Macs are like Saabs, expensive and unreliable.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009



    Not from what I see here. What a sad sad site for a 'High End' Computer. Pllleeeease.
    Apple seems to like suppressing any negative press or sites on the Ivory Tower. I'm surprised Evil Steve has not demanded a court order to suppress all this bad Apple talk. Might affect it's squeaky clean image.

    Apple, it's time to change your "It Just Works" slogan.

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003



    When a few Mac fails it becomes big news in Tech land yet when a ton of machines fail from say Dell or another company its ignored. Perhaps because its uncommon for the Macs to fail and its expected from the other PC builders? No company is perfect, there is going to be Macs built that are lemons. What counts is the overall picture and if the failed imacs does not even register a % point of the overall sold then who cares. Its like the ipod batteries. A couple dozen exploded out of how many millions. There is not one single company any where in this world that can mass produce a product in the millions and have a 100% success rate.

    What also counts is how the company responds to a problem. I've had a issue resolved with my MBP quickly and I was happy. I had the remote shipped to me last week and the box came empty, sure enough a short phone call later Apple sent another remote which arrived a couple days later. I am very very happy with Apple, the producs and the customer service.

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003


    Oh and...

    On this

    OMG 320 iMacs had problems out of how many millions in this quarter, get real.

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