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Google crushes Apple in battle of the brands

But iPod maker most influential in US; Nokia in Europe

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Google has knocked Apple off the top of a list of the world's most influential brands in 2005, doing unto the iPod maker what it did to the Internet advertising company in 2004.

The list was compiled by brandchannel.com and was based on a survey of 2,528 branding professionals and members of the public. The poll was conducted online, which undoubtedly skews the survey in favour of technology companies. Of the top ten brands, only two, Starbucks and Ikea, are not technology players.

Google's lead was not tremendous. It scored just over 40 per cent to Apple's 38 per cent, but third-placed Skype - the first time the VoIP company has appeared on the list - scored just 14 per cent, the same as fourth-placed Starbucks, followed by Ikea, Nokia, Yahoo!, web browser Firefox, Skype parent eBay and Sony.

Apple took the lead in the first poll, conducted in 2001. Then, Google was fourth, but took the number-one slot in 2002 and again in 2003. In both years, Apple sat in second place.

Apple can take heart from the North American chart, in which it pushed Google into second place ahead of Starbucks, Target, cyclist Lance Armstrong, personal ads site craigslist, Whole Foods, Coca-Cola, Oprah Winfrey and Amazon.com.

In EMEA, most of the global brands fared less well. Nokia topped the chart, followed by Ikea and Skype. Clothing brands Adidas and H&M made it onto the list (seventh and ninth, respectively), while car-maker BMW came in at number five. Media outlets the BBC (sixth) and Al Jazeera (eighth) also appeared in the chart.

The Asia-Pacific chart nicely sees Tiger Beer placed ninth, ahead of Japanese fad Hello Kitty, but behind (counting downwards) Sony (first place), Toyota, Samsung, LG, banking organisation HSBC, Singapore Airlines, Honda, and travel guide company Lonely Planet (eighth).

Beverage makers Corona and Bacardi topped the Latin American chart, with Cafe de Colombia coming in at sixth and winemaker Concha y Toro making tenth place. ®

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