In the court of public opinion, Google is the star quarterback with the big pickup truck and all the friends, and Apple is the top running back. And Facebook? Well, Facebook might be the captain of the debate team.
At least according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, which says that Google has an 82 percent favorable rating among American adults, while Apple has a 72 percent positive rating and Facebook is stuck at only 60 percent. The poll asked a random sample of 1,007 Americans who they like and trust most, and it’s considered accurate to within 3.5 percent.
I suppose it makes sense, in a way.
Google provides everyday utility to almost everyone, helping us find what we’re looking for. Oddly, Facebook does as well — connecting us to those we love — but the social network always seems to be in trouble on privacy issues. Interestingly, Google is just as much a target of privacy advocacy groups, and it probably has more data on us than Facebook does, but it seems to get a pass from consumers.
Apple is a different animal.
While it has its rabid fans, there has always been a strong component of PC-using Microsoft fans who dislike the company and find it elitist, arrogant, and overly concerned with style over substance. And Apple’s long, bruising court battles with Samsung have not helped at all.
Interestingly, Apple’s reputation with younger Americans aged 19-29 has dropped the most, and core products such as iPhone and iPad have also dropped, sinking from an 81 percent favorable rating in 2012 to a 71 percent score this year.
It’s hard to imagine that this has nothing to do with Apple’s loss of dominance in mobile post-PC devices such as tablets and smartphones and with Google and core partner Samsung’s increasing power.
And it’s something for Apple to consider closely as it releases new products this fall and winter.