TechnologyTell Writes About 2013 Q3 Computer Reliability Report

Apple's Computer Reliability Slips in Latest RESCUECOM Report

Is Apple’s computer reliability slipping?

TechnologyTell
November 23, 2013


Going back to the early 1990s, at least, seeing Apple’s computers sitting at or near the top of owner/user satisfaction surveys has been nearly as dependable as the sun rising and setting. Technically, that hasn’t changed, with New York-based RESCUECOM’s 2013 Q3 Computer Reliability Report (which includes tablets) released November 20, in which Apple finished second behind Samsung. What’s different with this survey is the margin between the top two’s respective reliability scores; Samsung’s metric of 694 is nearly three times that of Apple, which finished barely ahead of the runner-up pack, scoring 259 to Lenovo’s 250, Asus’ 212, Toshiba’s 69, HP’s 66, Dell’s 50 and Acer rounding out the top eight with a dismal 16 reliability score.

“While Samsung still outperforms other manufacturers in computer reliability, the top 4 of top-ranking computer manufacturers perform well above the competition,” RESCUECOM’s CEO, David Milman, observed. “RESCUECOM’s Level 3 Certified Technicians handle a great number of calls for tech support as well as for computer repair from all 8 of the ranking manufacturers.”

He notes that IBM/Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer vary only slightly from the previous quarter in both market share and computer reliability. However, Apple suffered the greatest decline from Q2/13 in computer reliability, dropping to less than half of its score for the second quarter. Lenovo is now licking at its proverbial heels, and Asus is not far behind.

Regarding methodology, RESCUECOM determines a manufacturer’s reliability score by comparing its market share of shipped computers in a given time period to the percentage of computer repair calls RESCUECOM’s Level-3 Certified Technicians handle for the same manufacturer. RESCUECOM used the following data to calculate reliability scores for the 2013 Q3 Computer Reliability Report:

ManufacturerU.S. Computer Market Share1, 3
(Percentage of Share computers shipped)
RESCUECOM Computer Repair Share1, 2
(Percentage of service calls to )
Computer Reliability Score1, 2
SAMSUNG9.3%1.4%694
APPLE23.5%9.1%259
LENOVO/IBM7.0%2.8%250
ASUS7.6%3.6%212
TOSHIBA4.4%6.4%69
HP17.8%27.0%66
DELL13.7%27.2%50
ACER3.5%18.5%19

1 - Computer repair share percentages and computer reliability scores include tablets.

2 - The computer reliability report does not include "other" manufacturers. "Other" is defined as all manufacturers that have below 1.0% market share.

3 - Market share numbers are provided by IDC.

It’s difficult to know quite what to make of Apple’s computer reliability swoon without knowing specifically what the repair issues were, but it’s troubling news for Mac fans accustomed to anvil-like dependability with their Macs. There was a greater number of new model issues with the mid-2013 MacBook Airs, but mostly of a nature that wouldn’t result in a spike in repair calls (notably a connection-dropping problem with the machine’s upgraded 802.11 Wi-Fi, audio volume fluctuations, and screen flickering when using Adobe Photoshop, all of which were addressed by Apple’s MacBook (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0 and AirPort Utility version 6.3.1.

It will be interesting to see if the lower Mac reliability scores persist in RESCUECOM’s Q4/13 report, or whether it was some sort of statistical anomaly.

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit www.rescuecom.com or call (703) 986-3233.

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