Apple tops brand satisfaction scores: what’s new?

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A recent survey conducted among 3000-odd US consumers by ChangeWave shows that among respondents who bought an Apple Mac over the past 90 days, 81% say they are Very Satisfied. This compares to a 55% Very Satisfied rating for Dell and 52% for H-P. Overall, Dell & HP lead in buying intentions with Apple ranking as No.3. Within the weaker overall PC spending environment, Apple planned laptop purchases (30%) for the next 90 days have improved 3-pts since their previous survey in January. I think the big difference between Apple and other brands in this segment is what happens before the purchase, not just after it. Apple consumers ‘want’ to buy an Apple, PC buyers want to buy a PC.  Any PC. The brand comes next.

There is also some speculation about Apple launching a low-end product. Paul Carton, ChangeWave’s VP of Research grants that long-term, “Apple will clearly be one of the strongest trees still standing in the forest.” But he adds that “we’re not out of recession yet, and the extraordinarily price-sensitive and worsening PC market presents serious obstacles for Apple – compounded by the relatively strong demand for Netbooks.” Apple will not touch anything that doesn’t offer a decent margin. I don’t think Netbooks fit in their overall strategy. And isn’t iPhone the ultimate Netbook? What say?

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