Apple topples Google as most valuable brand

Apple topples Google as most valuable brand

Taipei: Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone, iPad and iMac, overtook search engine giant Google Inc. to become the world’s most valuable brand, WPP Plc said in a report on Monday.

Apple’s brand value climbed 84% in the past year to $153.3 billion, WPP’s Millward Brown unit said. Google’s brand lost 2% to $111.5 billion, ending four years atop the rankings, while International Business Machines Corp. climbed 17% to be the No. 3, ahead of McDonald’s Corp.

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New versions of the iPhone and iMac, and the introduction of the iPad tablet, helped almost double sales and profit for the latest quarter. Apple, which overtook Microsoft Corp., as the most valuable technology company by market value in May 2010, boosted its share of the global phone market and is the leading seller of tablet computers.

It’s clear that every single Apple employee, from Steve Jobs and Tim Cook to the summer interns, see protecting and nurturing that brand as a top priority, Millward Brown chief executive Eileen Campbell wrote in the report.

Tablet computing also drove value growth not just for Apple, but also for the providers who support yet another networked device.

Facebook Inc., operator of the world’s largest social networking site, had a 246% climb in brand value, the fastest, to become the No. 35 brand at $19.1 billion. Baidu Inc., Google’s Chinese rival, posted the second fastest climb at 141%, to be the No. 29 brand at $22.6 billion.

Twelve of the top 100 global brands were from China, led by China Mobile Ltd at No. 9 and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd at No. 11. ICICI Bank Ltd, at No. 53, was the only Indian brand in the top 100. Inc., which ranked 14th, overtook Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which ranked 15th, to become the most valuable retail brand.

Graphic by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint