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iPad Tops in Consumer Satisfaction: Report

Big news for Apple and Apple investors: The iPad is the highest-scoring product that a leading consumer satisfaction index has ever tracked.

Apple iPad
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Apple iPad

The implication here is that the iPad's popularity may well have real staying power heading into the all-important holiday quarter.

Apple is counting on the iPad and the iPhone 4 to help drive growth.

The iPad is the newest addition to Apple's product portfolio, and this is an early indication of consumer reception

The latest numbers come from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, a study affiliated with the University of Michigan. Those numbers, out today, show that the overall PC industry reached a new high average score of 78 out of 100. Apple, however, was far ahead of its peers with a score of 86.

I called David VanAmburg, managing director of ACSI, to get a sense for what’s behind the scores. He told me Apple’s overall score was up slightly because people like its computers and the retail support experience – but he also mentioned that the numbers included the iPad for the first time.

He told me that the iPad, even at this early stage, pulled up Apple’s overall numbers – which makes it the highest-scoring product Apple has, and therefore the highest-scoring product ACSI has ever tracked.

A caveat here: ACSI has never tracked iPods (because they didn’t fit into a neat category like PCs or phones) and it has never pulled out its number for the iPhone (though it plans to start as soon as next year). So it’s possible that those products would score as high as the iPad. But this is an important number nonetheless, because it suggests that the iPad and similar tablets, when they arrive in volume, could have a significant impact on the consumer electronics space.

Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.com And you can follow Jon Fortt on Twitter @jonfortt
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