So, I've been suffering from a bit of Bloggus Proliferatus. I've been devoting too much time to other blogs and not keeping up on this one. I think I'll make Monday "Update the Usability Blog" night. Maybe I can get Hank Williams, Jr. to record the theme song.
Anyhow, there was a good article over on Notebooks.com. The point of the article was that Apple's market share is up, not just because it makes great laptops, but because it makes great relationships.
I tend to agree. My first first-gen iPhone had battery issues. When I took it in, it was a matter of minutes before I was handed a new phone, already activated and ready to sync, and I was headed out the door happy. It really cost them nothing to do so, and it was of great value to me. That's the thing about Apple...
With other PC vendors, a support call generally turns into a wild goose chase trying to get one of the involved parties to, first admit that the problem is theirs, and then provide a solution. We've all been there... The hardware vendor says it's a Microsoft problem, Microsoft says it's a driver problem, the software vendor says the hardware wasn't built to work with Windows... It's maddening. With Apple, there's just one number to call. If they can't resolve your issue satisfactorily, they know your next call is to buy another machine. You pay a premium, but they (generally) take care of the customer.
There are other examples of this (Nordstrom comes to mind) where the customer truly comes first. Nordstrom sells top-notch merchandise and makes themselves the single point-of-contact on support issues. If they can't make you happy, they will just give you your money back and call it a day. I love shopping at Nordstrom.
The common thread is that both organizations are usable - as an enterprise. It's a pleasure to shop at Nordstrom because they thrive on helping you find what you want, and don't make an issue about reclaiming an item that didn't work out. They know you'll be back next time you're looking for something. Likewise, it is not just easy to use a Mac, it's easy to interact with Apple.