MacBooks Top Consumer Reports Survey in Reliability and Customer Satisfaction

A recent Consumer Reports survey shows that MacBooks continue to lead all notebooks in reliability and customer satisfaction, based on 58,000 subscribers who purchased laptops between 2010 and 2015.

ZDNet reports that almost 20% of the respondents experienced a breakdown in the first three years of using a notebook, but MacBooks had notably lower failure rates compared to various Windows-based notebooks from Acer, Lenovo, Samsung and other OEMs. MacBook Air had just a 7% estimated failure rate, while the MacBook Pro was slightly higher at 9%.

Apple, as in year’s past, has the most reliable notebooks by far – a 10 percent breakdown rate in the first 3 years – with Samsung and Gateway distant seconds at 16 percent, and the rest of the industry – including Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, HP, Dell and Asus, at 18-19 percent.

Windows machines used more than 20 hours a week – average for Windows systems – have a higher break rate. Apple users report using their machines an average of 23 hours a week, 15 percent more. More hours, fewer breakdowns, what’s not to like?

The most reliable Windows-based notebooks in the survey were Gateway’s NV (13% failure rate) and LT (14%); the Samsung ATIV Book (14%); Lenovo ThinkPads (15%); and the Dell XPS line (15%). HP’s premium ENVY line was near the bottom, with a 20% failure rate, while Lenovo’s Y Series had the highest failure rate at 23%.

When MacBooks do break, however, the survey found they are often more expensive to fix, which is why purchasing AppleCare is recommended. Apple provides 90 days of complimentary phone and online chat support that can be extended for a total of three years with an AppleCare Protection Plan for Macs at a cost of up to $349.

In terms of customer satisfaction, 71% of MacBook owners were „completely satisfied with system reliability,“ compared to „only 38% of Windows notebook owners.“

The complete survey results are available at Consumer Reports for subscribers only.

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Apple Responds to Developers Regarding Expired Mac App Store Security Certificates

Last week some users and developers experienced an issue that displayed a „damaged“ error when attempting to open select apps from the Mac App Store, including popular apps like 1Password, Tweetbot and Byword. Today, Apple has sent an email to developers explaining what happened and how to fix their apps.

In the email, which developer Donald Southard Jr. shared on Twitter, Apple explains that the company issued a new security certificate for the Mac App Store in September in anticipation of the expiration of the old certificate. The new certificate used a stronger SHA-2 hashing algorithm instead of the old SHA-1 algorithm. Hashing algorithms are used by certificate authorities to sign security certificates.

However, two issues caused users to experience errors when starting up apps. The first issue, according to Apple, is that there was a caching issue with the Mac App Store that required users to restart their computers and re-authenticate with the Mac App Store to clear out the old cache. Apple says it’s working on a fix for this in an upcoming OS X update. The other issue is that some apps were running an older version of OpenSSL that didn’t support SHA-2. Apple says it replaced the SHA-2 certificate with a new SHA-1 certificate last Thursday night.

Finally, Apple says that „most of the issues are now resolved“, but that some apps might still experience problems if the apps make „incorrect assumptions“ about the Mac App Store’s security certificates. Apple asks developers to make sure their code adheres to the Receipt Validation Programming Guide and to resubmit apps for expedited review if necessary. The AppleCare support team has also been briefed with the latest troubleshooting information for users.

Tag: Mac App Store
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Apple Launches Quality Program for MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Issues

Apple has issued an internal notice about a new Quality Program that addresses anti-reflective coating issues on MacBook and MacBook Pro models with Retina displays. These issues include the anti-reflective coating on displays wearing off or delaminating under certain circumstances.

Apple will replace affected Retina displays at no cost for MacBook or MacBook Pro models with Retina displays within three years from the date of original purchase, or one year from October 16, 2015, whichever is longer. Affected customers that have already incurred out-of-warranty costs may be eligible for a refund through AppleCare support.

Affected customers can book an appointment with a Genius Bar or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their MacBook is eligible for coverage. Apple will not be posting the new Quality Program publicly on its support website, but should contact some potentially affected customers directly, according to sources.

MacRumors first reported on the problem in March, and it has since grown to affect thousands of customers on the Apple Support Communities, Facebook and our own discussion forums. Nearly 6,000 affected customers have also joined an online database called Staingate, sharing pictures of their damaged displays, while thousands of others have signed a Change.org petition.

The anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating has resulted from various circumstances, including the pressure of the MacBook keyboard and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of incorrect third-party cleaning solutions with microfiber cloths. The issue often affects small areas of the screen, but sometimes encompasses the entire display.

Leading up to the launch of this Quality Program, some MacBook Pro owners covered under AppleCare have been able to get their notebook repaired through the Genius Bar with no charge, while others have been told that cosmetic damage is not covered under warranty and offered to have their notebooks repaired for a service charge costing hundreds of dollars.

Apple has launched similar Quality Programs in recent years based on common problems identified by Apple engineers. Apple offers public-facing Exchange and Repair Extension Programs for larger problems, such as the iSight Camera Replacement Program for iPhone 6 Plus, Beats Pill XL Speaker Recall Program and iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program.



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Tim Cook Announces New Restricted Stock Unit Program for All Apple Employees

Apple CEO Tim Cook today informed employees of a new stock incentive program, which will see Apple making all of its employees eligible to earn Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).

RSUs are normally only given to top Apple management and people from the product teams to retain talent over several years, but now other employees, including those in retail and on the AppleCare teams, will also be eligible to receive stock grants.

Tim Cook announced the new program in an email (via 9to5Mac) that was sent out to employees this morning.

This year, I’m excited to let you know that the Executive Team has created a new program for stock ownership through RSU grants. It’s designed to reach employees who were not previously eligible, including many in our amazing retail and AppleCare teams.

This new program extends eligibility to everyone not covered by other RSU programs, effectively making everyone who works at Apple eligible for an RSU grant. This is an unusual step, and very special – just like our team.

Please check HRWeb for details on this new program.

At Apple, our most important resource – our soul – is our people. Along with our many progressive benefit plans, this is another way for us to say thanks. On behalf of the Executive Team, I’d like to thank you for your many contributions to Apple. Working with all of you is the privilege of a lifetime.

Apple has long had an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) that allows employees to acquire Apple stock at a discount, but Restricted Stock Units are given as a form of compensation and do not require employees to purchase the stock. Restricted Stock Units typically vest over a period of many years, providing motivation for employees to stay at the company.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, will receive a total of 1,000,000 shares of Apple stock should he stay with the company until 2021 so long as Apple performs well. Cook will earn 100,000 RSUs in August 2016, 100,000 in August 2021, and an additional 800,000 RSUs divided over 10 years so long as Apple’s total shareholder return is in the top third of companies in the S&P 500.

With the ability to earn RSUs for staying on at Apple, employees may be motivated to stick with the company until those Restricted Stock Units vest. According to Apple employees that spoke to 9to5Mac, Apple has already started distributing RSU awards to employees in grants ranging from $1000 to $2000 worth of shares.



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Samsung is ripping off Apple again — this time with phone leasing program

Just days after being told to stop ripping off Apple’s designs, Samsung is reportedly getting ready to “borrow” another of Cupertino’s ideas — this time with a program for leasing its Galaxy handsets to U.S. customers, much like Apple announced two weeks back with its iPhone Upgrade Program. Apple introduced its leasing program at its […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Announces iPhone Upgrade Program for Annual iPhone Purchasers

Today at its „Hey Siri“ special event, Apple announced a brand new program at its retail stores called the iPhone Upgrade Program. The program is designed for users who want to have the newest iPhone every year.

Signing up for the program gets you a brand new iPhone every year and allows users the ability to choose their carrier with an unlocked phone. The program will initially begin at retail locations in the U.S. before rolling out internationally. Pricing for the program starts at $32 a month and includes AppleCare+.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be available for preorder on September 12 and available for purchase on September 25.



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Apple Launches ‘Why There’s Nothing Quite Like iPhone’ Web Campaign

Building on a series of recent ads centered around the „If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone“ tagline, Apple today rolled out a new web campaign for the iPhone under the theme of „Why there’s nothing quite like iPhone.“

The new campaign is highlighted on Apple’s main home page as well as its iPhone pages, and it includes a scrolling feature page drawing attention to a number of aspects of Apple and the iPhone that make the device stand out from its competitors.

Every iPhone we’ve made – and we mean every single one – was built on the same belief. That a phone should be more than a collection of features. That, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.

The page proceeds to highlight the iPhone’s integration of hardware and software, camera capabilities, breadth of available apps, resistance to malware, and Apple’s commitment to privacy and security with Touch ID and Apple Pay.

The campaign also highlights how Apple includes a variety of built-in apps and tools to make text, audio, and video messaging free and easy, track fitness and activity, and control devices around the home, all with accessibility features to make the iPhone’s features available to as many people as possible. Finally, Apple points to its support network, from its retail stores to AppleCare phone and chat support.



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‘Businessman’ who made $43,000 scamming Apple jailed

Edward Hornsey has had an impressively long relationship with Apple’s customer service department. The 24 year-old has returned 51 iPhones in the past year, and Apple has replaced them with brand-new units. The only problem is that none of those…Read more ›



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App Store Sees Record Performance in Q2 2015 With 29% Increase in Revenue Year Over Year [iOS Blog]

During today’s Q2 2015 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the App Store saw its best quarter ever, with 29 percent growth year over year. The entire services category, which includes the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks Store, AppleCare, ApplePay, licensing, and other services also reached a record quarterly revenue of $5 billion, up 9 percent year over year, with growth largely coming from the App Store.

According to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, the App Store remains „incredibly popular“ with customers around the world, and in the March quarter, it saw 70 percent more revenue than Google Play.

Apple also an update on HealthKit-based apps, which are part of Apple’s recent health and fitness initiative, aggregating all of a user’s health and fitness data. According to Cook, HealthKit has been highly successful, and there are now 1,000 HealthKit-based apps in the App Store.

Along with HealthKit, Cook also touched on apps for the Apple Watch. There are now 3,500 Apple Watch apps available for download. Cook said customer response to the Apple Watch was „overwhelmingly positive“ and that Apple „can’t wait to see more inspiring apps“ for the Apple Watch as we creep closer towards the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.




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