Mac tech support issues more likely software or peripheral problems than hardware failures...

in macOS edited February 2021
The majority of problems Mac users encounter relate to email and printers, according to support vendor Rescuecom, while issues with macOS itself, Apple hardware, and other apps are drastically less common.

While a Mac may occasionally require a repair, it is claimed that most problems aren't caused by Apple's own products. Third-party hardware and services seem to be the main factor behind a decision to seek assistance, data from Rescuecom's 2021 Apple Mac Computer Repair Report claims.

To Rescuecom, issues with printers and emails dominate the queue, making up 19.3% and 18.7% of queries respectively. Issues with "Internet or Network" reside in third with 14.1%, while virus problems and slow computers are fourth and fifth with 13.6% and 13.4%, respectively.

Lower down the list, data recovery and movement requests are sixth at 9.9%, and blue and blank screens make up 8.1% of queries. Human error is involved with just 1.41% of problems in the report.

At the bottom of the support request list is hardware at 9th place with 0.53% of queries, macOS problems at 0.35%, and Mac Apps at 0.18%.

According to the company, the very low percentage of macOS issues differs greatly from the frequency of related problems among Windows users. Rescuecom reckons it's due to Apple's control over the entire hardware ecosystem.

"Apple [macOS] is reliable because [macOS] is specifically designed to run on Apple-designed and manufactured hardware, whereas Microsoft Windows has to run on thousands of different computer configurations," said Rescuecom CEO David A. Milman. On Microsoft's side, only "roughly 4 percent of the Windows market" run on its own Surface computer line.

"For this reason, Apple systems and software do not require the high level of computer repair we are seeing with Windows machines," the CEO added.

The reliability of Macs over other platforms has surfaced a few times in the past, with a 2018 Rescuecom report showing Apple as being the most reliable out of all vendors it serviced. The 2020 version of the same report still showed Apple was still a very reliable brand when compared against vendors like HP, Dell, Asus, and Acer.

A 2019 Jamf survey determined that reliability was one of the main reasons that employees would choose a Mac to use in the workplace.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,555member
    Well in the 2020 version Lenovo is slightly ahead but Microsoft is far above Apple for reliability, MS getting one support call per 387 computers, Lenovo 192 and Apple 186. Apple and Lenovo are way above Samsung though with 95. Seems the 2021 version is not publicly available, making actual comparisons impossible, but Apple's repair score was 665 in 2018, which means they've become much less reliable recently if the stats are to be believed - 3.7 times more support calls in 2020 than in 2018. Maybe the MacBook keyboard issue hasn't helped, though I've had to have all but one of my Macs repaired - and more recent versions of macOS are definitely buggier.

    2003 G5 was the only Mac I've not had repaired. 2004 Powerbook was repaired multiple times, 2006 Mac Pro's PSU then GPU died, 2009 MBP came with nonfunctional keyboard backlight then had GPU issues, 2012 iMac was replaced within 7 days of receipt due to noisy PSU, then later the replacement had its hinge replaced, 2015 13" MBP has had a new display 3 times, 2019 iMac had its logic board replaced. So from my experience, Macs aren't particularly reliable. That said, the service every time has been absolutely miles above anyone else i've had repairs with.
    edited February 2021 viclauyycdysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 2
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    My MacBook Pro is the only machine I had that died prematurely because it was engineered with pathetic thermal tolerances. Since then, I’ve abandoned any such tasks that result in wild and deep temperature swings or sustained heat generation. This has stopped me doing gaming and 3D rendering on my Macs. I was too late to that game to get a replacement mainboard from Apple, free or otherwise. They blame NVidia, but we know it’s not just NVidia at fault here. A lack of desktop power-user machines has been egregious for about a decade. Now they have one and it’s for plutocrats and corporations only.

    My PC, like most PCs, is a junk barge, and also a potato by way of age... but it has the ability to get rid of the heat it generates, and can stand to do so for hours at a time without near-term consequences. If the GPU dies, it can be replaced.

    But hey, I’m not important to Apple because I’m not a big-spending studio, nor representative of their mass market of minimal complexity end-user customers. I’m not knocking on average end-users whatsoever. I’m just asking for there to be a product line that serves my market segment, even though it’s less (but still) profitable.
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