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Media coverage of Apple found to be overwhelmingly positive

Apple garners the most media headlines of any tech company, with the iPhone 4 and iPad launches among the biggest stories of the year, while coverage of the company is overwhelmingly positive, one study has found.

The Pew Research Center on Monday released the findings of a new study that analyzed tech journalism in 437 stories from a variety of sources that ran between June 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. The study found that Apple receives the most press in the mainstream media, representing 15.1 percent of all technology stories in the news.

Apple's presence in the news is ahead of its rival, Google, which came in second with 11.4 percent. The social networking site Twitter came in third, with 7 percent of coverage, while Facebook took 4.8 percent, and Microsoft gathered 3 percent.

Of the stories analyzed, 42 percent described Apple has "innovative and superior," while another 27 percent praised the company's loyal fans. For comparison, only 20 percent of stories about Google portrayed the search giant as having innovative and superior products.

But Apple received its share of negative publicity as well, as the Pew Research Center found that 17 percent of stories suggested that the Cupertino, Calif., company's products do not live up to the hype. Another 7 percent of stories said Apple is too controlling with its products.

Expanding outside of the mainstream media, the study also found that Google garnered more attention than Apple on blogs, while Twitter was (unsurprisingly) the most popular subject on Twitter. Twitter users, though, talked more about Apple than Google.

The span of time analyzed for the study included a number of high-profile product launches for Apple, namely the iPad launch, as well as the introduction of the iPhone 4.

Of course, the latest iPhone garnered its own media firestorm after it launched, when Consumer Reports said it could not recommend the device due to perceived issues with the handset's antenna. However, that largely negative media coverage began in July, after the Pew study's scope.

The study did include the launch of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in 2009, however. Apple's latest desktop operating system earned rave reviews last summer, largely because of its $29 price.