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Macs Take Top Spot in Reliability Ranking

This week Rescuecom, a national chain of computer service shops, put out its third annual reliability report, placing Apple at the top of the heap. This is the second year in a row Apple has secured the top position on the list, this time coming in with a score 43 percent higher than that of the second place contender, Panasonic.

The Rescuecom report determines each company’s score by comparing the percentage of support calls it receives regarding that company, with the company’s U.S. market share. This year Apple’s estimated market share was 7.8 percent, yet Macs accounted for only 1.1 percent of support calls to Rescuecom. Apple’s record-setting score of 700 points is also a big increase from its 2007 score, because its market share increased from 5 percent, while the percentage of Apple-related calls to Rescuecom decreased from 1.4 percent.

Hearing that Apple computers have been ranked as most reliable certainly gives me additional ammo for convincing my parents and friends to switch to Macs. But the rankings actually tell us more about the quality and availability of Apple’s support than the reliability of Macs, since Mac users are more likely to take advantage of Apple’s Genius Bars, online support, and phone support instead of calling a third-party support provider. That’s even more true of Mac users than users of other PC brands since many Mac users would be dubious about a general support provider having useful Mac experience.

Rescuecom seems to acknowledge that this is the case, stating that Apple’s support options likely boost its score. Rescuecom CEO David Milman says, “Apple has a very strong game in this market… The combination of its online support, and the support at local stores, has been a big winner for Apple.”

The title of Most Reliable Computer may remain difficult to determine (at least by Rescuecom’s methods), but these rankings do indicate that Apple is doing the right thing by providing easy access to both online information, phone support, and perhaps most importantly, face-to-face help at Apple Stores.

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