Apple has categorically trounced PC rivals in the quarterly American Customer Satisfaction Index, finishing ten points ahead of its nearest rival Dell; the first time a firm has managed to do so in personal computer category.
Its score of 85 points, which is a new record for the PC category, was up six points on last year; ten points ahead of Dell, 12 higher than HP and 13 points higher than Acer-owned Gateway.
Speaking about the results, head of the index and professor at the University of Michigan’s business school Claes Fornell described it as "an aligning of the stars".
He said that much of Apple’s success was likely down to the poor customer perception of Windows Vista. "Most of Apple’s Windows-based competition is suffering a bit from Vista. Complaints about Vista are generating complaints about the computer makers."
However, he was keen to point out that the gripes were not just down to the OS’ performance, rather it was due to a variety of factors including PC vendors selling it with underpowered hardware and the higher cost associated with Vista.
He did cite that Apple had had its own problems, but that it had had much more luck at preventing problems causing PR headaches. "Apple is not without its quality problems. People know there have been some service and product quality problems, but Apple has an almost Teflon-like quality. Its problems don’t really seem to matter to consumers."