From the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI): User satisfaction with personal computers rises after two years of decline, improving 1% to 75. Apple dips slightly by 1% to 84, but the decline has done little to hurt the large lead Apple has enjoyed for six straight years over the Windows-based manufacturers. Apple maintains a 12% lead over Dell, one of the largest gaps between first and second place for any industry. Yet, the climb in the industry is largely a result of improvements among Windows-based machines. Dell is unchanged at 75, while Gateway (Acer) rises 3% to 74. The two brands of Hewlett-Packard also improve. HP inches up 1% to 74 while Compaq jumps 6% to create a three-way tie with HP and Gateway. “The recession has shifted demand towards lower-priced PCs and Hewlett-Packard is taking advantage by rolling out more of its less expensive Compaq models,” said Professor Fornell. “Recent sales are up and HP’s share value has more than doubled relative to market since the beginning of the year.” Additional commentary Personal Computers: Apple on Top despite Stalling Customer Satisfaction Customer satisfaction with PCs improved slightly after two years of decline, increasing1.3% to an ACSI score of 75. Rising satisfaction among Windows-based machines drove the improvement. Dell was steady with an ACSI of 75, while Gateway improved 3% to 74. The aggregate of smaller manufacturers also improved 3% to 74. The HP division of Hewlett-Packard made a modest gain of 1% to 74, while the Compaq division surged 6%, also to a score of 74. The satisfaction of Apple PC customers retreated slightly (down 1% to 84), but the small decline has done nothing to hurt the large lead Apple has enjoyed for six straight years over the Windows-based PC manufacturers. In fact, Apple’s customer satisfaction lead is the second largest of any industry in ACSI – only Southwest Airlines’ advantage over its closest rival is bigger. Apple’s success has been a result of innovation, integration of products, customer service and good marketing. By integrating its computers with the iPhone and iPod, Apple is encouraging the phone and music product users to become Apple computer users as well. Despite the recession, Apple has posted strong financial results, with profits up 15% for the second quarter, and sales of Mac computers have increased, while competitors’ sales have shrunk. As the recession has shifted demand for lower priced PCs, Hewlett Packard has been rolling out less expensive Compaq laptops – consumers can now get a fully-loaded Compaq notebook computer for less than $300. The emphasis on Compaq has driven up recent sales and HP’s stock is up 20% since the beginning of 2009, more than double the market.