Apple Wins PC Magazine Readers' Choice Awards for iPod, Wireless Networking

Announcing the results of its annual Readersi Choice awards, PC Magazine listed Apple among the winners. Specifically, the company saw the iPod win best overall MP3 player and had its wireless networking products score top marks.

Among all MP3 players, Appleis rating was just barely Excellent, the only company to hit that mark. iRiver, Dell, Creative and Archos were next in line, in that order. Readers were most enthusiastic about Appleis iPods with 10GB or larger hard drives -- among flash players with 1GB or less storage, Apple was at the upper end of Very Good, which still put it ahead of the competition.

However, the PC Magazine editors noted, "the iPodis Achillesi heel is reliability. Nine percent of iPod users report that their units have needed repair in the past 12 months. And itis not just because the early iPods are long in the tooth: Even among new players, a higher-than-average percentage of iPods needed to be fixed or replaced. Overall, only 3 percent of flash players needed repair service, compared with 7 percent of hard drive units."

Wireless Networking

Apple shared Readersi Choice awards with Linksys and Cisco for top marks in the networking arena, with its wireless routers scoring an 8.9 rating, the highest overall in that category. "This is especially noteworthy given that, in general, wired routers outscore wireless," wrote the editors. "Part of its high ratings may stem from ease of setup: Apple routers tend to be connected to simpler-to-do-everything Macintoshes."

Average overall ratings for wired routers was 8.2, while it was 7.8 for their wireless cousins. Both numbers were up a bit from last year. "More mature wired products still have advantages, even as users turn to wireless," the editors said.