Google's star rises as Apple fades

GOOGLE has retaken the role of superstar of the tech sector with a stunning stock rally as rival Apple flounders.

Google has hit fresh all-time highs in recent weeks, and closed on Friday at $US831.52, capping a nearly tenfold rise from its public offering price in 2004 of $US85. The stock is up about 17 per cent so far in 2013.

Part of the explanation comes from the rise of its Android mobile operating system, at the expense of Apple. Android is free but gives Google the opportunity to deliver more services and ads to users.

"The negativity that is surrounding Apple at the moment is giving positivity to Google," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Apple, which traded as high as $US700 last year, has slumped more than 35 per cent and ended on Friday at $US431.67