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iPhone more searched than Kardashian on Yahoo in 2011

The Web giant lists the most widely searched terms on its site this year, and Apple's iconic phone beat out tabloid celebrities and natural disasters to claim the top spot.

The iPhone topped every celebrity, every natural disaster, every political upheaval to earn the top spot at the most searched term on Yahoo in 2011.

The Yahoo Year In Review list, now in its 10th year, has only once before had a tech gadget come in at No. 1. And that happened in the first year of the review, when Sony's PlayStation 2 topped the chart.

iPhone 4S Apple

Subsequent years have seen Britney Spears come in first. She actually landed the top spot every year from 2005 to 2008. Michael Jackson took the top spot in 2009. And last year, the BP oil spill was the most searched phrase.

The iPod's ascension came in a year with much speculation about what the newest version of the iPhone would look like and when Apple would released it. The company ultimately unveiled the iPhone 4S in October. Interest in the device no doubt increased as Apple chief executive and co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down from the company in August and passed away in October.

The results differ from data collected by Microsoft regarding the most widely searched terms on Bing in 2011. Microsoft compiled the data slightly differently than Yahoo, not listing an overall top search word or phrase. Instead, Microsoft grouped searches in specific categories. In the most searched consumer electronics device, the "iPhone 5" (a rumored model that has yet to launch) came in fourth, behind Xbox, Playstation, and Kindle. That may be because Microsoft separated iPhone searches by models, even though it didn't do that for the Xbox.

As for the Yahoo list, six of the seven phrases that followed iPhone are all tabloid fodder--Casey Anthony, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Lindsay Lohan, and Jennifer Aniston. American Idol, Japan earthquake, and Osama bin Laden round out the top 10.

The iPhone 5 was the most popular mobile search on Yahoo, followed by Powerball and MLB. As for news searches, the Casey Anthony trial topped the list, followed by the royal wedding, and the death of bin Laden.