FORTUNE -- In June Rolfe Winkler, writing for the Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog, posted an item called Big Apple, Bigger Google.
By Winkler's calculations, Google's (GOOG) value had just surpassed Apple's (AAPL). Not in market capitalization, mind you, (i.e., share price times number of outstanding shares), which is the way these thing are usually measured, but in enterprise value (market cap plus debt minus cash and cash equivalents).
You can think of enterprise value as what it would cost to acquire a company: The buyer would have to take on the company's debt, but would pocket its cash.
Nobody is about to buy either company, of course, but Winkler's story generated some excitement -- and a flurry of copycat headlines -- because it fit the dominant narrative on the Street that Apple is doomed.
Apple's shares have bounced back a bit since Winkler posted that piece, and the company is once again more valuable than Google by pretty much every measure except sentiment on Wall Street (see the 12-month stock fever charts above).
To help put the two rivals in better perspective, the reader who posts as Merckel has done for Apple v. Google what he did last month for Apple v. Amazon: Summarize the two companies in nine bar charts and a five-year sales chart.
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