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Google is tech industry and world's most valuable brand as Apple rots

Sony drops from top 100 as Chinese web brands surge up the charts

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Something's rotten in Cupertino, according to the ninth annual “ BrandZ” rating of technology vendors, as Apple has lost its place atop the list of the world's most valuable technology brands to Google.

The list is cobbled together by Millward Brown, an outfit claiming expertise in “brand equity research” among other things and is based on “measures of brand equity based on interviews with over two million consumers globally about thousands of global ‘consumer facing’ and business-to-business brands with a rigorous analysis of the financial and business performance of each company to separate the value that brand plays in driving business revenue and market capitalisation.”

Enough of that twaddle: let's get to the list.

Google sits on top with a brand said to be worth US$158.9bn up 40 per cent from last year. Apple's next at US$148bn, down 20 per cent. IBM is steady at third.

Perhaps the most interesting entries are those for Chinese web giants Tencent and Baidu. The former offers a portal, instant messaging and more, creating a brand worth $53bn – up 97 per cent – to reach fifth place on the technology companies list behind Microsoft and 14th on the list of the world's top 100 brands. Baidu's best-known as Chinas dominant search engine and is in eighth place with brand equity a tick under $30bn. Both Chinese companies are up a place from last year. Yahoo! rose two spots to 16th with brand equity of $14bn.

Intel dipped nastily from 13th to 18th, but still has brand equity of $11.5bn. Twitter, LinkedIn and Ericsson entered the top 20 tech vendors this year.

Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft also occupy the four top slots in the top 100 brands from all industries chart, ahead of McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Visa, AT&T, Marlboro and Amazon.com. AT&T and Amazon are classified as telecoms and retail companies respectively, keeping them out of the technology charts.

Apple doubtless won't be happy about its slip, but can take comfort in the fact it is way ahead of Samsung, which slipped from 7th on 2013's technology list to 9th and made only 29th slot on the global brands list. Sony might be pleased to have fallen only two slots on the technology list, from 17th to 19th with brand equity of $7bn, but that sum sees it exit the world's 100 top brands. ®

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