Hollywood has had its fill of Apple brand placements

At least depending on how you want to interpret the latest numbers

Apple product placement - The Godfather

Oh, you'd never know it from scanning the headlines -- Apple Dominates Movie Product Placement; Lights, Camera, Apple! Tech Giant Product Placement King; rinse, repeat - but Hollywood is clearly signaling to Steve Jobs that his company's star is fading.

Or at least that's my take.

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The others are all trumpeting the fact, as reported by Brandchannel.com, that Apple in 2010 has once again seen its products more frequently featured in films rated tops at the box office than those of any other brand.

Brandchannel.com reports: "Apple products appeared in ten (or 30%) of the 33 films that were number one films at the US box office in 2010, outstripping appearances by any other single brand for the year. Nike, Chevrolet and Ford tied for second place, each appearing in 24% of the top films. Sony, Dell, Land Rover, and Glock appeared in at least 15% of the #1 films."

Thirty percent? Impressive by any measure ... except one.

Buried deep in the Brandchannel report we learn that in 2009 Apple products were featured in 43 percent of No. 1 hits (19 of 44 films). And, in 2008, Apple had at least a cameo in 20 of 41 such movies, or roughly half, which represented its all-time Hollywood high-water mark.

You can see where this is going, right? Apple's success at placing its brand in Hollywood films, while indisputably tops in all of the known universe, also remains conspicuously on the wane. The company's Tinseltown batting average has fallen - nay, plummeted - in each of the past two years.

That's a trend that should be obvious to all but the most obsequious of Apple lickspittles.

Yet today's headlines they fawn.

In trying to make sense of the disconnect between the alarming data and the rose-colored coverage, I couldn't help but recall the recent Pew Research Center study that was also erroneously portrayed as yet more evidence of Apple domination.

Sometimes group think just gets it wrong.

Or maybe it's just me.

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