Why Google is seen as invulnerable and Apple as merely hard to kill
Though it may slowly be changing, Google has enjoyed incredibly good public and market sentiment for the last few years while Apple has seen itself beset by doomsayers. Horace Dediu has taken a crack at explaining just why that is, and why it might not be entirely bad for Apple. Asymco:
I suspect the absence of scrutiny comes from Google being seen as an analogy of the Internet itself. We don't question the survival of the Internet so we don't question the survival of Google — its backbone, its index, and its pervasive ads which, somehow, keep the lights on. We believe Google is infrastructure. We don't dwell on whether electric grids are vulnerable, or supplies of fuel, or the weather(!)
Apple is treated like a movie studio, where blockbusters are expected and perception holds they're only ever one flop away from oblivion. Google is treated like entertainment, where no matter the fortunes of any specific element, the thing itself has and always will endure. Until it doesn't.
Is perception really reality, however, or at a certain point does the string of successes Apple has put together, and the value they've created have to transcend the base fears of media and market? In other words, at what point is Apple itself successful enough that Wall Street and its journals start treating it the same as Amazon, Google, and other, less historically profitable businesses?