Apple’s victory ends Google’s four-year reign as the world’s most popular brand with an 84 percent increase in Apple’s value, thanks to products such as the iPad and its nonstop business growth every quarter. Apple, Google, and Microsoft aren’t the only consumer technology companies to make the BrandZ Top 100. This year’s list is filled with popular tech brands. Is the maker of your favorite piece of technology among the branding elites? Let’s take a look.
BrandZ 100 Explained
This is the sixth year for the BrandZ Top 100, released by brand consultancy Millward Brown. The report takes into account each company’s financial performance, as well as a database of more than 2 million consumer interviews conducted over the past 13 years with people in 30 countries. That data gets crunched to rank companies in 13 different categories including apparel, technology, beer, cars, luxury items, and so on.
You could easily make an argument for including cell phone carriers, which were not counted as consumer technology brands for this list. AT&T, Vodafone, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and many other global carriers made the BrandZ Top 100.
Top 10 Consumer Technology Brands
Apple (#1 overall)
Apple was able to take the top spot thanks to the iPad, which many critics believe is already taking a bite out of PC sales. Almost every PC manufacturer is working on an iPad challenger and market research firm IDC said in January it expects tablet shipments to reach nearly 71 million units by 2012 (IDC and PCWorld are both owned by International Data Group).
But tablets won’t replace PCs just yet, as more than 70 million computers get shipped every three months. Apple also earned its place at the top thanks to its consistent growth in its quarterly earnings reports. The company increased its spot in the BrandZ Top 100 by 84 percent compared to 2010, with a brand value of more than $153 billion, according to the report.
Google (#2 overall)
Google may have lost the top spot, but it’s still a valuable brand worth $111 billion, according to the BrandZ Top 100. The search giant’s Android smartphone OS recently overtook Nokia’s Symbian and Apple’s iOS to be the best-selling smartphone platform.
Android isn’t winning just because it’s found in smartphones from every manufacturer under the sun (although that certainly helps). Android is also becoming more desirable than iOS devices, according to Nielsen.
But all is not rosy for the world’s fifth most valuable company. A recent blog post in Forbes points out that Microsoft is stalling financially with little year-over-year growth, its spending a ton of money to keep Bing afloat and the growing popularity of non-Microsoft mobile devices such as the iPad and Android smartphones may eventually threaten Microsoft’s crown jewel: Windows. Microsoft’s brand is worth $78 billion, according to the BrandZ 100.
But the best WebOS can hope for right now is to battle out for third place in the smartphone world against Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and/or Research In Motion’s Blackberry. The top two spots in mobile platforms will go to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS for the foreseeable future.
Blackberry (#25 overall)
Research In Motion’s Blackberry brand lost 20 percent of its value in 2011 compared to the previous year.
Blackberry is still a force to be reckoned with in the enterprise, but its PlayBook tablet is getting mixed reviews.