The American Customer Satisfaction Index is out today with its September report for appliances, computers, televisions and video players/recorders. Not surprisingly, Apple is able to maintain its lead among personal computers despite a drop of 1-point to 86 over previous reports. While the report noted Apple continued to lead the category by a margin of 5- to- 9 points, Apple’s lead is slightly smaller than previously, according to the report, “due to an across-the-board customer satisfaction increase for Windows-based computers.” Apple’s score comes as the PC industry as a whole gains 2.6-points and hit all-time high satisfaction score of 80.

Skipping past HP, Acer and Toshiba, the aggregate of smaller PC makers (including tablet producers Samsung and Amazon) improves customer satisfaction by 4% to 80 while simultaneously gaining market share at a pace that outstrips even Apple… “What may be occurring is that the defection of the least satisfied customers of traditional PC brands such as Dell, HP and Acer to Apple and other smaller tablet makers actually may be boosting customer satisfaction for all,” says Fornell. “The companies that lose market share will maintain their most loyal and happy customers, while those who migrate to other companies in search of new products are more pleased as well.”

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