It's a commonly held belief amongst PC-heads – not helped by those adverts – that Mac users are insufferably smug – but it seems that they may well have reason to be.

According to the results of a survey carried out by ChangeWave Research – via The Unofficial Apple Weblog – Apple's customers have come out on top in customer satisfaction, beating rivals Asus, Acer, and Sony by a healthy margin.

The survey – which asked purchasers of computers how satisfied with their purchase they were after a period of up to ninety days – showed 81 percent of Apple customers questioned describing themselves as “very satisfied” with the product they had received. This compares with Apple's nearest competitor Asus, which could only muster a far poorer 67 percent.

The figures get more depressing from there, with Acer scraping 61 percent and Sony narrowly pipping Dell to the post with 56 and 55 percent respectively. Hewlett Packard and Toshiba tied with just 52 percent of customers describing themselves as “very satisified with their new hardware, but the booby prize goes to business-oriented Lenovo – manufacturers of the ex-IBM ThinkPad range of notebooks – which barely managed to scrape a 50 percent satisfaction rating from its customers.

Laptops are proving the most popular purchase option across both Apple and PC brands, with the research showing customers likelyhood of purchasing a MacBook or MacBook Pro increasing by 3 percent in the last month. This contrasts with planned desktop purchases, which have decreased by 2 percent.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the survey – besides the depressing news that consumer electronic spending is at its lowest level since ChangeWave began its research seven years ago – is that many Apple fans consider the iPhone to be a netbook, rather than a smartphone.

If you want to peer at the gory details, ChangeWave has made the full survey results available as a PDF.

Do you believe the build quality of Apple products is what provides for such a high level of customer satisfaction, or are the Mac fans merely blinded by the advertising? Are Lenovo notebooks really that bad? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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