Consumer satisfaction with personal computers has hit an all-time high score of 80 (out of 100), according to numbers released this morning by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
The category as defined by ACSI includes tablets, and the growth of Apple’s iPad is part of what’s driving the trend. However, major Window PC makers including Dell, HP and Acer saw their overall scores climb in the index.
What’s really going on here? In a commentary accompanying the numbers, the ASCI offers this explanation: “What appears to be happening is that as the least satisfied customers of Dell, HP, and Acer (among others) defect to Apple and to the smaller brands (particularly tablet PC makers), customer satisfaction improves for all — both the companies that lose customers and those to whom these customers migrate.”
In other words, as tablets take more market share away from traditional PCs, we’re all happier because we’re using the devices we want to use. So this trend is actually not good news for the major PC makers unless they can come up with viable competitors in the tablet market.
Apple’s ASCI number dipped slightly for the year, to 86, from 87 in 2011. But that was still well ahead of the others in the category. Dell was the big gainer — rising to a score of 81, from 77 last year. Acer and HP came in at 79, with Toshiba at 77.
Should be fascinating to check back in with this data next year, after the release of Windows 8.