Apple has not only the best tech support, it also has the best customer loyalty engagement, according to independent reports by Consumer Reports and BrandKeys that each place Apple at the top of the list. According to cnet’s

Jim Dalrymple, Consumer Reports rated Apple’s laptop support 86 out of a possible 100, twenty-three points higher than the next best, Lenovo.

Apple scored an 87 for desktop support. The separation between the Cupertino-based company and followers in this category was even wider: the next best was Dell, with 55 points.

Apple was also tops in brand loyalty for several categories on Brandkey’s 2010 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. Apple was named the top brand in laptops and smartphones, and the Apple Air was ranked seventh in the netbook category.

The iPhone was BrandKey’s Customer Loyalty Leader in 2009, topping a list of 440 brands. In 2008, the leader was Google, whose brand has become a few shades darker in the past two years.

Obviously, topping Brandkeys and Consumer Reports' lists is interrelated. Apple has long been lauded for its tech support, and while Apple’s reliability might not be as important part of the brand's image as it was in the pre-iPod/iPhone days, it is still one of the core drivers of brand engagement.

By Mark Alvarez