Are Apple Customers A Happy Lot?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is apparently still great at keeping its users happy. According to the latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index, the iPhone maker has retained its top spot among makers of computer devices for customer satisfaction. Those surveyed also believe that the tablet market, led largely by Apple’s iPad, is forcing PC makers to improve the quality of their products.

Apple’s satisfaction rate came in at 86 percent, dropping slightly from 87 percent last year. Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) came second with a satisfaction rate of 81 percent, fairly higher from the 77 percent it had last year. The third spot, interestingly, was given to “other vendors,” including companies like Lenovo, Samsung, Asustek, and Sony (NYSE:SNE), an ACSI spokesman told InfoWorld. Acer and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shared the fourth spot with a satisfaction rate of 79 percent, up from 77 percent and 78 percent, respectively.

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The survey report said customers dissatisfied with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows PCs were moving on to Apple products, with the latter shipping more products every year. Apple’s minor drop is not statistically significant, said David VanAmburg, the managing director of ACSI. “For Apple to simply sell more laptops and/or iPads isn’t likely to boost the overall score for Apple,” VanAmburg said. “Apple products continue to be the best quality available to consumers, but as a whole the industry is doing a better job in recent years of providing higher-quality computer products to consumers.”

VanAmburg added that computer makers were increasingly offering better products that were smaller, lighter, faster, and more powerful.

Apple was the third-largest computer seller in the U.S. behind HP and Dell in the second quarter of the year, while it topped the worldwide tablet market with a 69.6 percent share.

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