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Apple drops to third, IBM/Lenovo tops in reliability report

updated 05:55 pm EDT, Thu June 3, 2010

IBM and Lenovo top reliability ratings

Apple has fallen to the third position in Rescuecom's latest computer reliability report, after maintaining the highest overall score in 2009. Each of the top five companies showed improvements in scores, with IBM and Lenovo representing the strongest growth as both companies share the top spot for the first quarter in 2010.

The Rescuecom report placed Asus in the second position, while Toshiba fell behind Apple. HP and Compaq shared the last spot in the top five.

A recent Consumer Reports comparison showed different results, placing Apple ahead of its competitors by a margin of 36 percent or more. The scores were based on consumer ratings of each company's own tech support teams, while Rescuecom is merely comparing the number of calls to its third-party support service.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still nothing to complain about

    I can imagine some knee-jerk responses saying "Apple's quality has gone down the drain!" or something, but according to this study Apple's reliability has gone UP since last year, not down. It's just that IBM, Lenovo, and Asus all improved MORE than apple, putting them above Apple in the ranking.

    Which is to say that Apple was the most reliable computer manufacturer last year, and they're even more reliable now. Hardly something to complain about, though I would of course prefer to see them in the top spot just because your reliability can never be too high.

    Now, it's worth noting that this study seems to be based on calls to this 3rd party support organization, which I can imagine being a sample VERY unrepresentative of the overall market, depending on how they're doing the math. For example, because Apple has unusually good support during the warranty period, they might well get less calls from Apple users proportionately, making Apple appear more reliable than it actually is. Or, the fact that Macs probably have a longer service life than Windows machines could mean that there are more ancient, crusty units floating around out of warranty, with users calling in disproportionately frequently with problems, making Apple seem less reliable than an equivalent sample of, say, Lenovo machines (which have only been on the market at all for a few years).

    So depending on which way you look at it, this report is either good news--increased reliability since last year--or meaningless. Take your pick, but it's not bad (waiting to see how long it takes some blogger or tech writer to inaccurately cite this as evidence of Apple's quality decreasing, though--less than a day, I'll bet).

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is not...

    This is not a report on reliability, this is a report on quality of customer support which is a different thing entirely. If a machine is 100% reliable you will never experience the quality of customer support, it's oxymoronic. I've had three successive iBooks and MacBooks fail over the past seven years and Apple's support was good but I would prefer that I never had to contact them in the first place. My track record with Apple laptops I would describe as poor overall in terms of actual reliability. My Powermac logic board also failed today BTW. For $4000+ I expect more than five years. I have 12 year old iMacs that are still going strong but they were built in Ireland rather than China, for what it's worth. Historically G5 Powermac failure rates were significantly above the industry average also. People who have 20 years Apple experience have a better take on the ebb and flow of reliability than recent converts with only a few years experience. I can say without equivocation that they don't build them like they used to which is a pity given the revelation that OSX was and is compared to, I dunno, System 7.5 anyone?

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This report is bunk

    Consumer Reports, they ain't. Why should anyone pay any attention to this myopic organization's observation?

    I felt the same way when I first saw a report of Rescuecom standings, and that hasn't changed in either direction with this one.

    You don't get the helpful information until the last paragraph.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What it means...

    "while Rescuecom is merely comparing the number of calls to its third-party support service."

    This says it all. How many Apple users call this third party support service? Why would they? Why is this news? How can this mean anything regarding who is more reliable? And Consumer Reports has a 180 opinion?

    Why is this c*** even reported. It means nothing either way.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969



    IBM STOPPED making PCs and sold their PC division to Lenovo about 5 years ago.

    Third-party support? Are they serious?
    Sounds like a FUD "report" to me.

  1. mikerich

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Thinkpads are still developed in concert with IBM, so it is fair that they are credited together.

    The results are distorted because as mentioned above these are calls to third party support rather than Applecare. But I'm with Feathers, in the last ten years every single one of my Macs has had to go back to Apple for fixing within the first year. I can't fault the support, I can fault the build quality.

  1. spyintheskyuk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Muddying the waters

    Certainly strange that this item is written as if IBM and Lenovo are in equal place with different products, certainly unless you knew the true situation and even then I had to read it twice. Sounds like the writer isn't clear about it, which if not he/she should be, but at best it is careless phrasing.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    .... It doesn't "Just Work" anymore...

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