updated 10:40 pm EDT, Sun May 8, 2011
Apple pips Google in brand value study
Apple achieved a symbolic win over Google late Sunday by passing its rival for the top spot in Millward Brown's 2011 BrandZ study. The swap represented the end to a four-year reign by Google, which slipped to second place. Apple won a brand value of $153 billion by managing to up the price of its mobile devices with the iPad but stoking demand the way a luxury brand might.
Most of the top ten were technology brands. IBM was third, while Microsoft sat at fifth place, AT&T reached seventh, and the world's largest cellular carrier China Mobile was at ninth place. Among the top 100, Baidu climbed to 29th place, while Facebook made its first appearance at 35th.
Google has had rapid growth in phones through Android, but nearly all of its profit remains locked in search ads, where Android simply helps drive ad share. Apple's emphasis on hardware sales has seen it jump 83 percent in revenue year-over-year at the start of 2011 and rise to where it's now more profitable than Microsoft.