ASUS More Reliable Than Apple But Lenovo Bests Them All

When it comes to the personal computing market, Apple is considered the cream of the crop these days. But a new quarterly report from PC repair firm, RescueCom, shows that increasing numbers of Apple customers are having trouble with their beloved Macs. Lenovo has been crowned as the most reliable, while ASUS, despite losing market share, beat Apple to claim the No. 2 spot.

So says the first Computer Reliability Report of 2011, which covers Q1. RescueCom determines reliability by comparing the units shipped by a specific manufacturer versus the number of repair calls for that brand. Granted, the company admits that this methodology isn't perfect. It depends on the likelihood that a customer will not only seek out third-party support for PC repairs, but that it will seek out RescueCom for that support. Even still, RescueCom has been conducting this quarterly research since 2009. It now has enough data under its belt to show some trends about the reliability of components for each brand that it tracks. In its first ever annual report, for 2009, Apple claimed the top spot. And it's been downhill for Apple ever since, with the company landing in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot, always behind ASUS. Indeed, a fourth-place showing is the worst quarterly score that Apple has hit to date


Manufacturer U.S. Computer Market Share (2)(Percentage of Share computers shipped) RESCUECOM Computer Repair Shares (1) (Percentage of service calls to 1-800-RESCUE-PC) Computer Reliability Score (1)
IBM/LENOVO 5.5% 2.17% 254
ASUS 3.0% 1.24% 242
TOSHIBA 10.2% 6.19% 164
APPLE 9.7% 6.5% 149
HP/COMPAQ 26.5% 21.67% 122

Top 5 Most Reliable Computer Brands. Source: RescueCom and IDC


HP/Compaq posted some pale numbers, too. "HP/Compaq was the runaway leader in number of PCs shipped even with losing 2.5% market share, but they are now struggling to stay in the top five," the report says.

Surprisingly, Samsung, which wasn't named as a Top 5 vendor at all, has been marked as a reliability up-and-comer. Samsung didn't land on the Top 5 due to its tiny market share. "Although grouped with the 'Other brands' category, Samsung is rapidly rising in market share. Looked at separately Samsung would place third, bumping out HP/Compaq. With over 260% gain in market share, Samsung is a brand to watch in the future," the report notes.

These findings echo a report produced earlier by PC World. PC World's Annual Reliability and Service Report for 2010, which published in December, also showed HP landing in the bottom of the rankings for home desktops. Dell, the second-largest seller of home PCs in the U.S., scored poor marks, too. While the PC World survey data is older, it is far larger, including a whopping 79,000 responses. Apple and Asus scored highest in that survey, too, though Lenovo landed in the middle of the pack.

Given the price difference between Asus and Apple, Asus users have to be happy indeed.