Some in this thread have asked about Forrester, primarily questioning the validity of the survey.
This may help.
From Forrester's corporate fact sheet, which you can download here.http://www.forrester.com/rb/research
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company
that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business
and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 19 key roles at major
companies providing proprietary research, consumer insight, consulting, events,
and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 25 years, Forrester has
been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day.
For more information, visit www.forrester.com
Founded: 1983 by George F. Colony
Headquarters: 400 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Employees: 1,068 (as of September 30, 2008), more than 411 of whom are
Ranked: In the top 75 on Forbes' 200 Best Small Companies list for five
Number Of Client Companies: 2,718 (as of September 30, 2008)
Is Apple one of those clients? Most likely.
Are MIcrosoft, HP, Dell, etc. also clients? Most likely.
Would Forrester risk its reputation, risk losing many of its other 2,717 clients, who are "global leaders in the technology industry" by putting out a survey just to make Apple look good?
I doubt it.
Addendum: Some may wish to interpret the line "Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day," as meaning they issue reports favorable to clients in order to make them "successful."
Hardly. Objective research reports, such as this one, are valuable tools for all their clients, can make all their clients more "successful". Those that did not do well in the survey are as interested in knowing how they did as Apple is. One needs to know how they are doing in order to make improvements. When it comes to Apple, the company just has less to do (there is always room for improvement) than the rest when it comes to customer satisfation.
In looking through the Forrester site, I came across a description of one of their services that not only further explains why it is to their advantage to assure their surveys are unbiased, but points to how significant ranking high on a survey of this sort is to a company like Apple.
One of your biggest challenges is evaluating and selecting vendor products and services. That's why we created the Forrester Wave — our call on a particular market or technology. Whether you're investing in application server platforms or content management providers, the Forrester Wave makes it easy for you to make well-informed decisions.
The new Forrester Wave offers:
A detailed analysis of vendors' products and services based on transparent, fully accessible criteria.
A powerful Excel spreadsheet that allows you to easily compare products and get in-depth data and analysis about each one.
Tools to develop a custom shortlist based on your company's unique requirements.
In short, the very people who make major purchasing decisions are also Forrester customers.
I understand that regardless of all I've provided regarding Forrester, some will question the validity of the survey based on the assumption that Apple paid for it.
Apple may well have paid for it. Apple knows that it ranks high in customer satisfaction. If Apple felt reiterating that fact would be to its benefit right now, it would make sense to ask Forrester to do a survey. GIven Apple's track record on the subject, they were taking very little risk by asking for a current reading.
Apple, if they paid for the survey, simply made a smart marketing decision: to have an independent research firm issue an unbiased report that reminds everyone that Apple ranks high in customer satisfaction, and that the companies who are featured in the latest Microsoft anti-Apple ads rank low in customer satisfaction.
The Forrester Research report covers a broad range of companies, not just computer makers. It's unlikely that Apple paid for it.