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Google knocks Apple from brand perch

Android overlord crowned value king as worth soars by 40%

Google continues to run a near global monopoly in search.
Google continues to run a near global monopoly in search.

Google has knocked Apple off its golden pedestal, as the search giant and Android owner was named the world's most valuable brand by research company Millward Brown, online media reported.

The two companies' value swings are sizeable. Apple's brand value has eroded 20% to $148bn, while its mobile platform rival has seen its worth rocket by 40% to reach $159bn.

The dramatic turn of fortunes may have been caused by a number of factors. Apple has had a rough year, emerging from a bruising legal tussle with device nemesis Samsung with only a paper victory to show for it. Meanwhile, consumers and investors increasingly view Apple as a company with an innovation engine that has run out of steam, and CEO Tim Cook is still under pressure to deliver on his promised "new categories".

Google, on the other hand, continues to run a near global monopoly in search; has moved forward into wearables while Apple's iWatch remains a rumour; and continues to make an estimated $1bn a year, in ad revenue alone, from the world's most prolific mobile platform, Android.

"To gain more of our mind-space brands such as Google are making ambitious plays across existing category boundaries," said Peter Walshe, director, Global BrandZ, Millward Brown.

Millward Brown's Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Report did not exclusively feature tech companies, but ICT firms were well represented in the list. IBM kept third place and Microsoft was fourth. AT&T was eighth, with Amazon in 10th position. Chinese Internet firm Tencent was at number 14. Facebook was 21st and Samsung 29th.

The Register noted that Millward Brown is part of the British marketing multinational, the WPP group, some of whose agencies work with Google.