Always a popular topic of discussion, Apple and Steve Jobs seem to always be in the news. Whether it’s hype leading up to a product launch, the launch itself, or the endless comparisons between the product and other products in its class, Apple seems to find their way into headlines more than any other tech company. According to the New York Times, this is not just what it seems; it is researched fact. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released the results of a year-long study of the penetration of certain companies in the headlines of 52 tech news outlets. The results aren’t too surprising. Apple came in with 15.1 percent of articles, Google grabbed 11.4 percent, and Microsoft underwhelmed the competition with a mere 3 percent. While Apple dominated the news media in general, the top story of the year can’t be attributed to one company. The controversy over texting while driving, its legislation and discussion, was the most popular topic, according to the study.
While the release of the iPhone 4, both the hype leading up to it and the controversy it stirred up in production, was probably a leading factor in Apple’s conquest of the Pew leaderboards, you would expect Microsoft to attract some more attention to the release of the critically acclaimed operating system that saved them from the Vista. Microsoft may be spending a whole lot of money on marketing and market research, but their products simply aren’t generating the debate and discussion that Apple products are capable of.
Google, aside from their attempt at mobile hardware in the form of their Nexus One, hasn’t released an actual product all year. The continued growth of their Android operating system and the constant innovation in their web search dominance are a constant source of media coverage and the short amount of time between updates and innovation are a big driver for the coverage that put them in second place.
The report concludes, interestingly, that it seems that the tech news world is living in a paranoid dichotomy. The top stories show that our tech interests are split between making life easier through innovation and fearing the idea that innovation will make changes in our lives that we aren’t very comfortable with, specifically in the domains of privacy and safety.