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I think it is fair to say that Apple is much better at marketing than Google. Apple makes good products that look great and sells bajillions of them at a premium price point. One thing that this has done for Apple is reassure customers that when they spend their money on an Apple product, they are going to get something that works, is at or near the leading edge of mainstream consumer technology, and also looks cool while sipping on a latte. I would hazard a guess than many of these "casual" tech consumers don't care one bit about pixel count or any other spec. They want something that works and looks good, and Apple provides it.
Another thing, specs don't tell the entire story. How accurate are the colors? How black are the blacks? How bright is the display? People don't always go for the technically best, most accurate image.