San Francisco: Consumers are as happy as they`ve ever been with their computers, and those with Apple computers are the most pleased, a new survey says.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index`s score for personal computers, which is part of a larger survey that also includes consumer sentiments on home electronics, totaled 78 out of 100 for the past 12 months. That is up 3 points from the previous year`s score and higher than any other year but the baseline 1994 score.
Within the computer category, Apple Inc. scored the highest for the seventh straight year, earning 86 points. That`s up 2 points from last year and is Apple`s highest score thus far.
Apple`s recent financial results seem to bear out a high level of satisfaction, too. In its most recent quarter, the company sold 3.5 million Mac computers, a 33 percent increase from a year earlier.
Most makers of Windows-based computers also saw scores improve. ACSI gives at least partial credit to Windows 7, the newest version of Microsoft Corp.`s computer operating software. Last year, Windows 7 replaced an older, less popular version, Windows Vista.
Dell Inc. scored 77 points, up 2 points from the previous year.
Hewlett-Packard Co. scored 77 points for its HP-brand computers, up 3 points from last year, and 74 points for its Compaq-brand computers, which is the same as last year.
A category that lumps together smaller computer makers like Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. scored 77 points, rising 3 points from the year before. Electronics such as TV sets and DVD and Blu-ray players scored 85 points overall, rising 2 points from the year before and marking the highest score the survey has seen thus far. The survey indicated that lower prices for flat-screen TVs and DVD and Blu-ray players helped make consumers feel happier about making these purchases.
The survey was created by the University of Michigan but is now run by ACSI LLC, which is a private company.