Reliability reports produced by Square trade, Consumer Reports & PC World from 2008 to 2011 with samples of around 40k each, place Apple 4th, with a malfunction rate of 11% yr 2 & 17% yr 3. (Asus 1st with 9% & 15.6% & Hp last with 16% & 25.6%!)
Apple came a clear 1st in customer support, noting it was the easiest & fastest to get it fixed (guess where HP came!)
As it has been stated in this discusion that Apple places higher quality demands upon its suppliers to reduce component failure rate, so what accounts for the no. 4 spot? Admittedly these surveys do not indicate type of usage & PC World's could be influenced by owners with a grudge! so results be treated as a guide & general indication of trends only.
The other factors could be contributing to this failure rate could be any of or combination of the usual suspects:
compromised board layout, failed soldered joints through thermal fatigue,thermal grease/heatpad problems &/or heat sink/fan design, or have we all sat it down on one's lap the wrong way (for Apple), leading to the high temps some owners of MacBook Pro's have reported here. (Apple are allways first to admit & correct problems inherent in their designs, (just like HP!))
However if this failure rate (or even Asus's) is applied to the new Retina Macbook Pro, (with its sealed rtb protocol) due to manufacturing or design flaws, then Applecare is essentual. I would be pleasantly supprised if the combination of Intel i7, SSD, reduced parts count & simpler manufacturing proccess yielded by the soldered RAM & Battery, could bring the failure rate down to levels that would offset this additional Applecare cost.
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