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Apple is popping out higher quality, more reliable products than anybody else, according to PC World and its readers.  (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
Apple's users claim that the company's products have few problems and that they are extremely pleased with its service

PC World recently conducted its annual "Reliability and Service Survey" which interviews customers and asks them about the tech products they use, how reliable those products are, and the quality of the services associated with those products.

With over 79,000 people interviewed, 
PC World arrived at a surprising conclusion -- Apple was the best tech firm in terms of quality.  The magazine writes:

Apple once again smoked the competition in the desktop, notebook, and smartphone categories, winning high praise from customers in all reliability and service categories. The Macintosh and iPhone maker did so well that virtually all its scores were above average. Apple's only average scores were related to the company's deftness at replacing failed notebook components, and in two areas pertaining to serious problems with the iPhone, the latter perhaps stemming from the iPhone 4's well-publicized antenna issue that resulted in dropped calls for some users. 
...
Can Apple do no wrong? Indeed, 2010 was a remarkable year for the world's highest-valued tech company. In addition to unveiling the iPad, a touchscreen tablet that launched a new genre of mobile computing devices, Apple enjoyed record sales and profits. And now it's won the trifecta by smoking the competition in our reader poll.
IDC computer analyst Bob O'Donnell attributes Apple's popularity to the company's stylish, well-made computers and its easy-to-use operating system. "It's a combination of having high-quality hardware--you pay a premium for it--and a software experience that's more straightforward," he says. "And if you have fewer questions, you typically have fewer problems."
Apple is very good at offering extras too. "You have things like the Genius Bar at all the Apple stores. People literally walk in with their systems, and the [support] guy sits there and says, ‘Oh, yeah, you've got to do this, this, and this,'" O'Donnell adds. "It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling: ‘They're taking care of me.' Nobody has anything close to that on the PC side."

Of course this is a survey of customers' perceptions of quality, not the actual quality of the products themselves.  Apple's customers are notoriously loyal, and thus recent issues including buggy softwareexploding iPods, shattered iPhone screens, overheating iPadsoverheating MacBook Prosfailing antennas, and more, might have been overlooked by Apple's loyal followers.

Additionally Apple's high prices may be created a distorted perception of quality among consumers.

Other companies that did well in the survey include ASUS in the laptops segment, Panasonic in the TV segment, and Canon in the printer/camera segment.  Verizon, HTC, and Brother also all earned praise.

Among those rebuked in the survey were Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry.  Others criticized included Dell and HP, the world's two largest computer makers.

So is PC World and its readers right?  Is Apple a quality god?  Feel free to chime in.





"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch







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