updated 11:30 am EDT, Tue September 20, 2011
Apple tops ACSI scores again while rivals sit
Apple managed to widen its lead in real-world satisfaction on Tuesday in a new ACSI (American Consumer Satisfaction Index) study for computers. The Mac designer moved up a point in its satisfaction score to its highest yet, at 87 points. Windows PC builders were virtually flat and still about 10 points lower on average, with only HP and its trailing budget brand Compaq moving up a point.
HP's gains may also be rendered void in the next year as the company has talked about exiting PCs entirely, owing most of its decision to Apple's iPad curbing its sales.
The ACSI attributed Apple's continued wide lead to its tendency to not just iterate on its existing designs but to head off into new categories and directions. Along with the iPad, the company is considered the inventor of the ultrabook category through the MacBook Air. Its emphasis on higher-quality parts and its having self-run stores for buying and support have also helped its perceived impact where others have to go through third-party stores.