iPad Drives Apple to New Highs in U.S. Customer Satisfaction Survey for Personal Computers
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) today released new data on the personal computer industry, showing consumers awarding Apple the highest scores for the seventh straight year with a record satisfaction score of 86. Nearly all other computer manufacturers came in with scores of 77, with HP's Compaq brand bringing up the rear with a 74.
CNBC spoke with ASCI about the survey and learned that, while customers continue to like Apple's products and retail store experience, much of Apple's two-point gain from last year's results appears to be driven by the inclusion of the iPad, Apple's highest-scoring product, in the numbers.
I called David VanAmburg, managing director of ACSI, to get a sense for what's behind the scores. He told me Apple's overall score was up slightly because people like its computers and the retail support experience - but he also mentioned that the numbers included the iPad for the first time.
He told me that the iPad, even at this early stage, pulled up Apple's overall numbers - which makes it the highest-scoring product Apple has, and therefore the highest-scoring product ACSI has ever tracked.
Apple's nine-point lead over its nearest competitors is the largest for any industry tracked by ASCI and matches last year's margin over second-place Dell. Apple's largest margin over its competitors came in 2008, when it held a ten-point lead over second-place Dell in a year where most Windows PC manufacturers saw significant declines in customer satisfaction, reportedly due in large part to complaints about Windows Vista.