New daily tracking statistics from YouGov's BrandIndex show a steady erosion of Apple's "buzz score" since it hit a high on March 18. The score, which represents positive or negative feedback, dropped from that high of 80.2 to 66.1 this week.
While the erosion is significant in terms of the company's tracking, it does not mean Apple is in trouble with the young demographic. The BrandIndex scale ranges from -100 to 100 and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A score of zero would mean equal positive and negative feedback.
"Apple has definitely lost some steam with the adult 18-34 demo," the report noted, "although they are still doing well."
YouGov said the survey was a more scientific answer to the question asked by columnist Nick Bilton in The New York Times earlier this week: "Has Apple lost its cool?" Bilton suggested that Apple's recent actions in slamming Adobe Flash and suing HTC, along with its tight control of the App Store, have made many view the Cupertino, Calif., company as "bullying."
Bilton also noted, however, that "all the litigation and negative press hasn't hurt Apple's sales. People are lining up to buy iPads and iPhones and swooning over announcements of new products."
The BrandIndex score is updated daily, based on interviews with 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample, amounting to 1.2 million interviews per year. The company said its margin of error is +/- 2 percent.
Those interviewed were asked the question, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?" For comparison, Apple's "buzz" score of 66.1 is higher than Motorola's 57.2, but lower than Google's 82.5.
Last year, YouGov's BrandIndex also closely tracked (1, 2) the public relations battle between Verizon and AT&T, and what effect it had on each wireless carrier.