John Paczkowski

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IPad More Satisfying Than Mac

The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) this week gave Apple its highest-ever score (PDF), awarding the company 86 points out of 100 in its 2010 survey of consumer sentiment.

Apple’s score is a new record in the personal-computer category, one that’s nine points higher than the company’s closest competitors–Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL) and Acer, which all tied with a satisfaction rating of 77. Apple has claimed the top spot in the ACSI’s personal-computer rankings for seven straight years; the last time it was beaten was in 2003, when Dell bested it by a single point.

Impressive, eh? Now get this: The ACSI didn’t note this in its formal release, but its PC survey included the iPad. And evidently the iPad scored quite high. Higher than the Mac, actually.

“People said they find the iPad more satisfying than the Mac,” ACSI’s managing director David VanAmburg told me. “And that helped goose Apple’s ranking.” He added that that makes the iPad the highest-scoring product Apple sells and by extension the highest-scoring product ACSI has ever recorded.

Great news for Apple, particularly since folks obviously find the Mac pretty damn satisfying.

Now, the company’s certainly not without its customer-satisfaction issues; Antennagate is testament to that. But its facility in creating easy and compelling user experiences and dedication to those core values that CEO Steve Jobs often mentions–“We just want to make great products”–are clearly paying off, as this seven-year ACSI sweep demonstrates. And there’s a lesson for the rest of the industry there. “The biggest asset Apple has had for a long time is its commitment to innovation,” VanAmburg told CNN. “Others are improving, but the whole world watches Apple when it comes up with its new products each year.”

[Image credit: Gizmodo commenter Ahubbuch and ACSI ]