Google Zeitgeist 2011: It's Apple's World

Google Zeitgeist 2011: It's Apple's World

Summary: You can talk about Windows, you can play with Android, but according to Google, what people really wanted to know about in 2011 was Apple products, Apple services, and, oh yes, Apple.


It's Apple's World.

According to Google, it's Apple's world.

Every year Google takes a look at what we've been searching for on the Internet in 2011 in its Google Zeitgeist list. A lot of it shows that we love our dumb stuff. For example, Rebecca Black, whose fame rests entirely on one awful song and video, Friday, was the number one search. Looking deeper into the lists you'll see that when it comes to technology, we couldn't get enough of Apple.

On Google's master list of the 10 fastest-rising global queries, you'll find three Apple subjects represented: the iPhone 5 (whoops!), Steve Jobs and the iPad2. Of technology-related subjects, only Google's new social network, Google+ and the hot new game Battlefield 3 placed higher.

You might think Apple got so much attention because of Steve Jobs' death. You'd be wrong. While Jobs death placed him ninth on the overall search list, the Fastest Rising Technology list was filled with Apple searches.

Number one was a surprise, or at least it was to me: iCloud. In the technology business we may be arguing about how important the cloud will, or won't, be, but people at large clearly want to use the cloud and they want to use it now.

I wasn't as surprised by number two: Mac OS X Lion.. After all this was a major operating system release and it was the first that Apple had ever made available, ala Linux, as a download.

From number three to six we finally meet the technologies I would have guessed would have made the list: the iPad 2, the iPod Touch 5G, and the iPhone 5. What catches my eye here is that while those of us on technology's cutting edge are always talking about smartphones and tablets, a lot of ordinary people are still very interested in the idevice family's inexpensive little brother: the iPod.

It's only at number seven that we finally find a non-Apple related subject; Adobe's Acrobat Reader X. Why? I suspect it made the list because from the beginning of the year to its end this essential PDF reader program had one major security problem after another.

Steve Jobs came in next on the technology list at number eight. But, this is something of an illusion. The Zeitgeist list measures the change in interest in a subject. Steve Jobs has always been popular and so even his death wouldn't move the needle that much.

Next we come to HP's Touchpad. The irony here is that the Touchpad made the list because HP killed it and then, when the company dumped the remaining Touchpad inventory on the market.

In a way, this too is an Apple story. It showed that people didn't want just iPads... if they could get a tablet at an affordable price. HP may not have gotten the point, but Amazon, with its Kindle Fire, and Barnes & Noble, with the Nook Tablet, certainly did.

Rounding up the list we finally find an Android tablet. But, it's certainly isn't the Samsung Galaxy I expected. Instead, the Toshiba tablet, the Thrive that was getting people's attention.

If you look just at the fastest rising gadgets, then things get much more diverse. The Kindle Fire is now on top, with the iPhone 4s right behind it and there's a host of other devices including a goodly number of other Android devices. If you look at at the world's Fastest Rising Consumer Electronics list, you'll see similar results.

Taken all in all, it's crystal clear. You can talk all you want about other technologies and gadgets, but what everyone really wants to know about is Apple products, Apple technologies, and still more Apple.

Related Stories:

Steve Jobs: A retrospective (roundup)

'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

After the iPhone 4S, Android just feels wrong

iOS 5, iCloud out of the box experience (gallery)

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Google, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • RE: Google Zeitgeist 2011: It's Apple's World

    Yeah, this isn't necessarily a good thing...

    When something goes wrong? when someone has problem? when someone can't figure out to do something? What do people do?

    ...They Google it.

    So, all this says to me is the products that are supposed to be "so user friendly" and "just work"... aren't, and don't.

    No thanks, I'll stick to sales and market share figures... which are telling us that Windows 7 is the fastest selling desktop o/s and Android is the best selling mobile o/s.

    I guess it depends on whether you live in the real world or not, determines who's world it is. :|
    • RE: Google Zeitgeist 2011: It's Apple's World

      Thanks for playing, back to regular scheduled programming. Your world, thats ok too. Bye
      • RE: Google Zeitgeist 2011: It's Apple's World

        Actually, I would say that he is making a valid point. When people have a problem they do a google search. That might not be 90% of the Apple searches, or even 30%, but it absolutely makes up a decent chunk of those searches. That said, Mac OS X being available as a download pretty much required people to hit the internet. If Windows 8 is available in the same method I can only imagine that it would make the Mac OS X searches look like a joke. It wouldn't necessarily mean people are fascinated by Windows 8.
      • RE: Google Zeitgeist 2011: It's Apple's World

        @Ididar Yeah, clearly those iPhone 5 users are doing searches when their devices break.