Computer repair company RESCUECOM puts out regular reports on computer reliability. Basically, the company analyzes the number of service calls it gets about computers from a particular company with the number of units shipped by that computer maker. Using this method, RESCUECOM concluded that Apple computers were the most reliable in 2008. But for the first quarter of 2009, Asus and Lenovo top the list, with Apple falling to second or third place depending on how you interpret RESCUECOM’s figures.
So what led to this shift? Netbooks. Asus began shipping huge numbers of Eee PC mini-laptops in 2008 and that led to a quick increase in overall market share. But RESCUECOM got a “disproportionately small” number of calls for support regarding these netbooks and other Asus products. This could mean that Asus notebooks really are more reliable. Or it could be that people who buy a $400 ultraportable don’t expect miracles from it and don’t bother to call for support if something goes wrong.