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Tim Cook might want to send a thank you card to Steve Ballmer this morning. It should read like this:

Dear Steve,

Just wanted to say thank you. Thanks to statistics from your search engine, Bing, we now know that an Apple product was the most-searched item of 2012. Here at Apple, we also enjoy knowing that the iPhone 5 was also the most-searched news story on your company’s search engine.

I guess we now know what was popular this year. Thanks for crunching the numbers on this.

Your friend,


OK, maybe the letter won’t happen. But this much is true: the iPhone 5 was the most-searched consumer electronic on Bing’s top searches of 2012 lists. Apple’s newest smartphone also outpaced the 2012 Election, the Summer Olympics and even the Gangnam Style dance as the most popular news story. On that same list, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD was the ninth-most searched story while the Facebook IPO came in tenth.

After the iPhone 5, the most-searched consumer electronics were:

2. iPad

3. Samsung Galaxy III

4. Amazon Kindle

5. iPad 3

Along with the iPod Touch (6th) and iPhone 4S (9th), that’s five Apple products in the top 10. Microsoft had two with the Xbox (7th) and Windows 8 (10th).

Social, music and games topped the list of most-searched tech apps this year. Pandora was the number one most-searched for app, with Words With Friends and I Heart Radio rounding out the top three. Three of the top five were music players (Pandora, I Heart Radio and Spotify).

Facebook and Twitter finished 1-2 for most-searched social network. Somewhat surprisingly, MySpace moved into third place with its rebranding mission.

I’m not exactly sure what this says about our country, but the most-searched person was Kim Kardashian. Justin Bieber was bumped down to second after taking first place last year and Miley Cyrus rounded out the medal stand. Other names in the top 10: Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Aniston and Nikki Minaj.

And while Barack Obama may have won the popular vote on November 6th,  he certainly wasn’t very popular on Bing. The president came in as the 46th most-searched person, while Mitt Romney came in at 43rd — at least Mr. Romney won in something.

The Bing blog has a complete list of the rankings, which also include most-searched athletes, musicians and celebrity couples.

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