December 01, 2011, 6:40 PM — Whether you're an Apple fanboy or hater, I think we can all agree it's a better reflection on our society (barely) that the iPhone topped a herd of vacuous Hollywood celebrities as the most-searched item on the web this year, according to Yahoo.
It's been a long time coming for electronic devices.
"This is the first time since 2002 that we have had a gadget at No. 1," Vera Chan, a Web trend analyst at Yahoo, said in a conference call as reported by Reuters. "Even though the product has been around for four years it just became such a major news story."
Indeed it did, what with the release of the iPhone 4S, perpetual rumors of an iPhone 5, and Verizon and Sprint both starting to sell the Apple smartphone for the first time this year.
Yahoo began announcing its annual most-popular search list in 2001. In 2002, the PlayStation2 topped all search terms. Since then, the list has been led by Britney Spears seven times. I'm serious.
Here's Yahoo's list of most popular search terms for 2011:
2. Casey Anthony
3. Kim Kardashian
4. Katy Perry
5. Jennifer Lopez
6. Lindsay Lohan
7. American Idol
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Japan earthquake
10. Osama bin Laden
OK, where's Britney, AKA the Most Followed User on Google+?
Also, someone out there (hopefully not an ITworld reader) is going to look at that list and say, "Who's Japan Earthquake?"
Yahoo bases its list on aggregated visitor activity on its sites and billions of web searches by users.