Apple's iPhone and iPad launches have helped the computer maker trump Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft in news coverage, according to the Pew Research Center.
Thanks to the launch of its iPhone 4 smartphone and iPad tablet computer,
Apple bested Google in news coverage, grabbing 15.1 percent of technology
headlines compared with 11.4 percent for Google.
Center's Project for Excellence in
Journalism culled its findings
from headlines for 437 technology stories appearing in
the lead sections of 52 different news outlets from June 2009 to June
Apple's iPhone 3GS (June 2009) and iPhone 4
(June 2010) dominated tech coverage for the
duration, followed by the iPad launch
in April of this year. These events were accompanied by
"flashy press events and often drawn out releases of new products."
Roughly 42 percent of Apple-related stories described the company as
"innovative and superior," while 27 percent hyped its loyal fan base.
Even so, some 17 percent of stories about the company dealt with how its
products were overrated and couldn't live up to the hype.
Google, too, offers big high-tech news events, but the company is a
different animal. While Apple CEO Steve Jobs
got up on stage and whipped out new devices, Google demonstrated a new search user interface
and predictive search
on projection screens.
Such Google product stories notched 25 percent of Google coverage, mostly
because they lack the glitz and glamour
of hardware and software that accompanies the iPhone and iPad.
Google also makes Android mobile phone software, but that release is
typically demonstrated by OEM smartphone makers, such as Verizon Wireless at
their launch events. Stories pitting Google versus Apple in the mobile Web war
are big draws, too.
While Apple and Google took the top two slots in tech news, social-network
stars Twitter and Facebook followed in the third and fourth positions.
Microsoft, which for several years captured headlines for antitrust lawsuits
with the Justice Department and European Commission, significantly lagged,
capturing a fifth of the coverage of Apple and less than half that of Twitter,
according to Pew.
Tech topics ranged far and wide, though 18 percent concerned stories about
how technology is impacting peoples' lives. For example, how parents are texting
Cyber-security, privacy concerns, crime incidents and other negative issues
comprised 32 percent of tech coverage, followed by 26 percent of reports about
social and cultural trends.
Corporate news and policy legislation stories filled another 22 percent.
Gadget and product reviews notched 16 percent of all tech content.