New research crowns Apple as most reliable PC maker

By Matthew ยท 16 replies
Dec 7, 2009
  1. New research from Rescuecom, a US computer repair franchise, has crowned Apple as the most reliable PC maker. This contradicts previous data from warranty provider SquareTrade, who sampled 30,000 systems and determined Asus had the least failures, HP had the most, and Apple ranked somewhere in-between. The two reports do find common ground, though.

    Read the whole story
  2. paynetrain007

    paynetrain007 TS Rookie Posts: 88

    I would say the previous study is more reliable. This one tends to even more highly favor the lack of Apples on the market in their favor.
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I'm not sure the support calls to sales ratio is a good measure of reliability, maybe lots of those calls were from people who had viruses on their Windows. Or maybe when a Mac breaks down the Apple fanboys go out and buy another one instead of calling a helpline which your average PC user would do. Not that I'm an Apple hater or anything... actually yeah I am. But I have several friends whose Macbooks broke down due to overheating.
  4. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Just goes to show what you can do when you have draconian lockdowns on the hardware that only you manufacture, and you happen to make the operating system as well... Apple's not stupid, they keep those lockdowns for a reason - to keep issues to a minimum and maximize their profits (at least in theory).

    I also prefer some other studies I've seen that give actual statistics relevant to shipped units. I mean, you made up 9% of the shipments and accounted for 2.4% of the calls, but how many of those calls were about new systems vs 2 year old Macs? Numbers like in this study only generalize, and don't give you specifics about how good or bad a manufacture is doing right now today. I mean, part of the reason HP has such hideous numbers could probably be related to the fact that there are a huge number of businesses that use their PCs, and are keeping them in service longer than they normally would have due to economic issues. And if extended warranties are included, it really skews the numbers even farther, because the numbers of Asus or HPs in the marketplace is compounded yearly, adding up to MUCH higher numbers in use than Apple, and the disparity gets larger every year... Hope that's making sense. It's all clear in my head, at least! heh
  5. levar

    levar TS Rookie Posts: 229

    so.... why has HP ranked so poorly in multiple studies? Would that be the reason?
  6. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    @levar - well, probably not the whole reason. But as a mainstream brand (which also would have Compaq units totaled in their column, I would imagine), there are far more actual physical HP branded units in use than, say, Apple. The only real numbers that would correlate to who is making the best computers right now, would be actual sales units vs. calls within a specific timeframe about ONLY those sales units counted. If you look at HP, who's been around a looong time, and all of their products in the field, the numbers would be staggering when compared to total Apple units.

    Statistics is a game of numbers, and can be easily skewed and twisted (often by accident) with just a few incorrect assumptions. It can also be twisted to prove a point, if you choose your assumptions and test data strategically. But, as a rule, if you go by generalities, and don't specify the subsets to correlate the information, then smaller populations within the test pool tend to reap certain biases, while larger populations tend to have other biases affect them. Which is why broad studies like the one in this article really can be dangerous, as the scope has not been refined enough to be truly relevant. They tend to be just a census, not a true targeted study of what went wrong where and why.

    All that said, part of it would be that some HP products are just not that great. I'd be willing to be a huge number of HP's calls were due to insufficient memory and upgrading issues, since the mainstream HP units tended to be sold with bare minimum RAM. I know when Vista was released, it was one of the dominant issues for HP's tech support calls. Probably the same with Win 7.
  7. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I also have to wonder, how comprehensive is this study? These are 2 contracted support companies, from what I can see. So how does Dell fit in? Or Acer? Or Lenovo? etc, etc. Does this cover ALL brands, or just the ones they get calls on? Sounds like it's a very limited scope of reporting, covering just the stuff they get support calls for. Or maybe I'm missing something?
  8. paynetrain007

    paynetrain007 TS Rookie Posts: 88

    I would also like the throw a bet in their that Apple finds ways to skew the numbers of problems known with their computers. As well as fan boys who don't report their problems.
  9. vangrat

    vangrat TS Rookie Posts: 223

    Sorry, but I have to do this..


    Okay I am done.

    Yeah after all the crap I have been reading about tech support and such with Apple at the moment I am going to take this particular information with a very very large grain of salt.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    These articles probably make TS news because they get a lot of traffic because its fun to hate Apple.
    Apple owners aren't thinking "oh, I better not call Apple Support on this problem because it is going to make their number of support calls go up, and thus make Apple look bad". They are probably calling Apple on every tiny thing that isn't even a real problem just because the support for Apple is known to be very good with friendly and naitive English speakers for their reps.
  11. I would expect support calls to have a high leading edge for questions related to setup and configuration. This should be true across all vendors. Expect vendors with a higher percentage sales increase over prior periods, such as Apple, should have a higher number of calls.

    Electronic hardware, if designed properly, tends to have high failure rates in the first 48 hours of usage and then drops down to a very low level until the thousands of hours is reached. Exceptions to this of course are mechanical devices such as hard drives, keyboards, and a mouse. All manufactures should be very close in this regard.

    The combination of case design and heat management could be a major differentiator. Against Apple is they only sell high end processors and do so within small form factor cases. You would expect this combination to have a higher failure rate due to heat but this does not seem to be the case. Could this be due to a superior design or the use of unibody aluminum cases? This would help Apple.

    The last and most important metric are support calls due to migration and 3rd party applications people use every day. Apple has a major advantage here because migrations move applications, data files, and settings with a single click which is impossible on Windows. The other advantage Apples has it the integration of applications most users want with the OS.

    Apple's first PC was released in 1976 while HP's was in 1980. Also, the longevity of Apple PC's is longer than most other vendors including HP. With widespread adoption of Windows powered PC's in the 90's the refresh cycle for Windows powered PC's standardized at 3 years. The correct metric would be to track the the number hours of operation on a given hardware unit.
  12. mattfrompa

    mattfrompa TS Evangelist Posts: 553   +57

    Given my recent years work with hundreds of Macbooks and iMacs...I will respectfully disagree with the titles given in this study.
  13. lfg18

    lfg18 TS Rookie Posts: 86

    I'm not sure about what this study says, in my experience HP happens to be a reliable brand, mine has never ever failed and it is 2 years old now, it's the same for some of my relatives whose Hp are 4 or 5 years old, and they still run, in the other had, I have heard a lot of problems related to Dell and Apple, one of my friends has had to replace his macbook twice; you would expect more reliability for a company like apple.
  14. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    I agree whole heartedly that HP has the most failures. My company has a partnership with HP (unfortunately I had no choice in the decision to partner with them), and we get HP systems at a very nice discount. The problem with it though is that literally 6 out of every 10 systems we receive arrive with bad memory. We get so many "duds" every month, that we had to set up a new storage room for all those expensive paper weights to await the fedex guy for their return trip home. HP's quality assurance inspector is the end user, and has been for years.
  15. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 529   +7

    I concur that this is not the best measure of reliability as there is no severity attached to the support calls. It is interesting to see the data though, and this may be partly a result of the tight integration (and monopoly) Apple keeps on their software/hardware and the higher prices driving more inexperienced users (who would have higher support call volume) away from them.
  16. UT66

    UT66 TS Rookie Posts: 143

  17. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    In my eyes the most reliable PC maker is myself.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...