Sep. 20, 2011 at 2:16 PM ET
Apple continues to retain the No. 1 spot when it comes to happy customers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index in its annual survey about personal computers. It's the 8th year in a row the Cupertino company has held the title.
"Among Windows-based PC makers, there is very little change from a year ago," noted the ACSI. With 100 as the top score, Apple scored highest at 87, up 1 percent from last year and placing the company "among the top 5 companies measured in all of ACSI."
PC maker HP — which has said it is getting out of the consumer PC business — was up 1 percent to 78, "best among the Windows-based PCs," ACSI said, while HP-owned Compaq was at 75, "last among all brands."
In-between the two HP brands are Dell, Acer, "and the aggregate of all other brands (such as Toshiba, Lenovo, and Sony)," unchanged from last year with scores of 77.
And while Apple may be atop the heap, "despite weakening (computer) demand, satisfaction with (all) personal computers remains at an all-time high score of 78 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale," ACSI said.
“Apple’s winning combination of innovation and product diversification — including spinning off technologies into entirely new directions — has kept the company consistently at the leading edge," said Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI, which includes the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business as a founding partner.
"Even as Apple parlays its newer iPad products into dominance of the tablet computer market, its traditional PC business continues to thrive," ACSI said in its report. "In the second quarter of 2011, sales of Apple desktops and laptops grew 16 percent year-on-year, compared with only 1 percent growth for Dell’s consumer products."
The report is based on approximately 3,000 customer surveys.
The last time a brand other than Apple got the highest rating was in the 2003 ACIS survey; at that time, Dell was ranked first with a score of 78, Apple was second with 77 and HP was third with 70. Compaq ranked the lowest that year, with 68.
ACSI's survey also measured customer satisfaction with televisions, Blu-ray disc and DVD players. At a score of 85, those products received the "highest score among 47 industries covered by the ACSI."
“Customers are upgrading to TVs that provide better picture quality, more features, and save space, while the (Blu-ray disc) format is becoming more widely available and affordable," said Fornell. "Clearly, customers are pleased with what this industry has to offer them."