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How Innovative Are Apple's Tech Rivals?

Stocks in this article: FB AAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- One of the constant complaints of critics against Apple (AAPL) in the past two years is that they're no longer as innovative with Tim Cook and without Steve Jobs.

But that critique isn't really fair when you start comparing Apple to other tech giants.

If Facebook (FB) is that much more innovative than Apple in the last two years, what do they have to show for it?

It's still a big social network with a new mobile site. But it's only faster because their old mobile site had been so slow for two years.

Facebook tried to "innovate" with their mobile site two years ago but they did so by betting big on HTML5, which ended up being a total bust for them.

They bought Instagram because not enough people were using their homegrown Facebook photos. Post-closing, Facebook innovated at Instagram by urging the company to start selling users' photos to advertisers without user permission. It caused an uproar.

Facebook innovated by displaying your Facebook email address as your primary one and hiding all others.

Facebook innovated by putting more ads in your news stream.

All these innovations were designed to create profits for Facebook and therefore shareholder value. But did any of them make us stop and say: "Wow -- I didn't see that coming." Clearly, no.

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