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Apple and Google take divergent paths on Wall Street

Last year, Apple was heading for a $1,000 stock price. Now it's Google, as the two tech giants battle to win the hearts and minds of users on the go and in the cloud.

Six months of Apple and Google shares. screenshot

Apple and Google are on a collision course. The two tech giants are battling to win the hearts and minds of users on the go and in the cloud with their various products, services, and platforms. But as far as Wall Street is concerned, Google is ascendant and Apple is waning.

According to a Citigroup report, Google has replaced Apple as the top holding by the largest U.S. mutual funds. At one point it was Apple that was heading for a $1,000 stock price -- now it's Google. Wall Street is valuing the future potential of Google's search business and mobile efforts far more than Apple's mobile hardware and iTunes business. Apple's price-to-earnings ratio is less than 10, compared with Google's 25 times profit, according to Bloomberg.

While Apple has been the leader in pioneering new territory with the iPhone, iPad, iTunes, and its software platforms, Google and its Android brethren are growing rapidly, especially outside the U.S.

In the U.S. market, Apple averaged 37.8 percent of the smartphone market from November 2012 through January 2013, rising 3.5 points since October, according to ComScore. Samsung led the Android pack at 21.4 percent. However, Google's Android leads in platform market share at 52.3 percent, followed by Apple's iOS at 37.8 percent. On a worldwide basis, the smartphone market grew by almost 40 percent in the last year, according to Pingdom. Android smartphone sales grew by 88 percent during that same period, and Apple 23 percent.


Now investors are waiting to see what the secretive Apple has up its sleeve to preserve its profit margin, pioneer new markets, and recharge its stock.