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Apple drops to number two in reliability


RescueCom is a company that provides tech support and help from a 1-800 number, and they've released the latest version of their computer reliability report. This thing is actually pretty well done -- it examines just which brands and makes of computers are getting the most support calls, and then compares it to the average US market share for each brand. For example, if XYZ brand computers are getting a lot of calls, but they're also selling like hotcakes, it won't rate quite as high as ABC brand, which is only selling a few computers, almost all of which are breaking down.

There's bad news, however, for Apple, in this quarter's report: they've fallen to spot number two. For the overall year of 2008, Apple reigned supreme in terms of reliability. But in the first quarter of this year, Asus and IBM's Lenovo have had their numbers rise above -- both of their shares of the US market are smaller than Apple's 6%, according to this report, but Apple's 2% of calls to RescueCom still means Asus and IBM/Lenovo have them beat in overall reliability. Unfortunately, they don't show us the fun side of the chart: HP/Compaq end up in the fifth spot, but their 17.9% of all the calls to RescueCom is only the fifth most reliable, not the worst.

Apple still probably doesn't have too much to worry about -- as Wired notes, these are only quarterly scores, and don't forget that this is the quarter in which many people were still learning how to use their iPhones, iPod touches, and the App Store. But this might be an early sign that as Apple grows, it'll be tougher for them to guarantee reliability in their products.

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