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iPhone, Macs sweep new quality, reliability rankings

updated 01:15 pm EDT, Thu September 17, 2009

iPhone, iPod, Macs top

Apple has won every category it participated in as part of a new study of service and reliablity. The reader-driven PCMag rankings saw it lead the cellphone, desktop, notebook and portable media categories, in some cases with particularly wide margins compared to rivals. Apple's best success was in the notebook category, where MacBooks earned an overall score of 9.2 out of 10 and a very high 9.4 out of 10 "would recommend" score.

The win was a narrow one as Taiwan's ASUS made a relatively large gain to claim second place with 8.8 overall and 9.0 in recommendations. Its general quality has increased and has been helped by the rise in popularity of netbooks. Sony climbed slightly to reach third place with 8.1 overall.

Of all the categories, Apple's widest lead was in cellphones, where it increased to 9.0 and was much higher than next-up Research in Motion, whose BlackBerries only led to a 7.9 score. The difference is partly explained by a jump in the number of BlackBerries that needed fixing, at 38 percent, as well as a drop in the perceived worth of their web browsers; Safari on the iPhone was given an 8.4 mark where RIM's entry fell to 6.0.

In desktops, Apple scored a 9.1 overall and a 9.2 recommendation score, trumping even custom-built systems' respective 8.5 and 8.9 scores. The next-closest name brand was Sony, which scored 8.2, while HP was next at 7.7. Most of Sony's gains came from halving the number of its PCs reported as needing repairs.

Unusually, the tightest margin of victory was in portable media players. Apple's iPod scored an 8.5 (8.9 for recommendations) but was only a tenth of a point ahead of Microsoft's Zune line. The score notably doesn't include the Zune HD or Apple's newest iPods as both were released too soon to make an immediate comparison.

by MacNN Staff



  1. balanced

    Joined: Dec 1969


    2.1 more gotchas about the Zune HD

    1. Plan to spend an extra $89 for the dock to output HD (so it's really not HD by itself)

    1.1 So the player now cost $308 for a 16GB model to be HD

    2. No Bluetooth

    Oh but it's so the iPod Killer. Yeah Right.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Released to soon?

    It wouldn't matter even if the Zune HD was released earlier. One use outside of the office or in the car during the day and that thing labeled straight into POS category. Can't see the screen and browser is hilarious.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So? To watch movies on a tv with the ipod you need to buy a $40 cable. And if you want a dock, you need to spend another $50. And you can't even watch something in 720p. Is $89 so absurd?

    And Slappy, I've still only seen one article that claims you can't see the screen in light. Have you witnessed this for yourself? Not to mention, it's not like you can see much on a regular lcd screen in direct sunlight.

    You sound like a sore loser.

  1. balanced

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There is were you are wrong, see you only need the cables to watch video with the iPod. No dock required.

    My point is that they are promoting HD at the entry level, but it truly is not until you buy more accessories. So they are kind of misleading the general public.

    That's all.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Routers, too!

    Apple's Airport Extreme Router also won!
    A sweep for every product category Apple sells.

    @luckyday... listen to balanced. No dock necessary. Griffin (as do other companies) sells a complete set of A/V cables with an extra USB sync cable and a USB charger for $50.

  1. nikstar101

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone Problems

    Well i think their ranking will corp now that iPhone OS 3.1 has caused a large number of problems with 3G iPhones. Like mine it seems to freeze them, so they cannot be unlocked (as in woken from sleep not made carrier independent). Which is very annoying as you either have to wait 5 mins for it to sort itself out or do a hard reset.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    People I know that have switched

    to new Macs are very satisfied with their Apple products, including MacMinis, iMacs, MacBooks, iPhones. I know there are haters that say people that are purchasing Apple products are only being over-charged for the Apple logo and Steve Jobs smile, but in most cases purchasers are getting a lot of customer service, training and reliable computers (if not, they're being replaced or repaired quickly under warranty without hassle). So overall, ex-WinPC users that have switched have noticeably fewer problems. These are people that are not heavily into tech or can do their own troubleshooting. They depend on help or ease of use to get them through their personal projects.

    This is PC Magazine, so I wouldn't think they'd deliberately bias themselves toward Apple products.

    So, I'm sure those people that are laughing and saying Apple is overcharging for nothing are likely people that can take care of their own computer problems without needing help. Many say that they can build their own computers for a lot less money and end up with a better product than Apple can produce. Those tech-savvy dudes may be right, but the people I know can't do that sort of stuff and that's probably more than 90% of the population. They say Apple dumbs things down, but average users need things very simple when it comes to using electronic devices.

    I'm glad that Apple is being recognized for having a reputation of selling good products to keep the brand value high. I know Apple isn't perfect, but they are much better than average. Apple should continue to target consumers that are willing to pay for the extras.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune comments

    What the heck is wrong with the people here? Can't we all just get along???

    The ZuneHD is not an "iPod Killer". MS never stated that to be their plan. They are simply offering a very nice PMP with a great screen and excellent sound quality. Neither of which the Touch can match. The Touch has strengths elsewhere, specifically the apps. The Touch is more of a handheld computer that has the ability to play music and video, while the ZuneHD is more a PMP with some extra features. Totally different products marketed to totally different people.

    I have an iPhone for phone calls, mobile messaging, mobile internet and language-learning apps. Oh, also internet radio and podcasts. Those uses alone kill my battery every day. For music I use a dedicated music player such as my Sony X-1050 or my new ZuneHD.

    I really don't care for the fanboy mentality (for whatever product they are focused on) nor their desire to try and convince other people that their opinions are wrong if they prefer a device other than the fanboys'. So if you want to truly discuss the strengths and weakness of any device, cool. Otherwise, get lost.

  1. balanced

    Joined: Dec 1969



    you may want to recheck that "excellent sound quality" again, not sure it is one of Zune's strengths.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Isn't that sweeping the award for most honest anti-trust lawyer or best stock analyst? It isn't like the bar is that high...

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