Apple surpasses Google as world's most valuable brand, report says
Apple surpassed Google to become the world's most valuable brand last year, largely on the success of the iPad, according to the annual Millward Brown BrandZ rankings.
Apple's brand value, as projected in the rankings, rose 84% over the last year to $153.3 billion. Google's brand value decreased 2% to $111.5 billion, bringing an end to its four-year run at No. 1, Millward Brown said in the rankings report.
The 100 most valuable brands, combined, jumped in worth 17% from last year to $2.4 trillion, the report said.
Four of the five top-ranked companies were in technology, with IBM coming in third, fast-food giant McDonald's fourth and Microsoft fifth.
Apple rose to the top, from third place last year, because the Cupertino, Calif., firm "loudly discovered an empty space in the computing category that it filled with a new device -- the iPad," the report said.
"In the last quarter of 2010, Apple sold more iPads than Mac computers. The iPad, which quickly met competition from other tablet makers like Samsung, helped Apple pass Dell and HP in total portable computer sales. An Apple cloud would further strengthen the brand as a trinity of platform, content and device."
In the 2010 rankings, IBM was ranked second, Microsoft fourth, Coca-Cola fifth and McDonald's sixth.
Amazon.com -- the online-retail and cloud-services giant and maker of the Kindle e-reader -- edged up to No. 14 this year from No. 15 last year.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: An Apple computer on Google's company campus in Mountain View, Calif., last year. Credit: Robert Galbraith / Reuters