And the rivalry between Apple and Google has apparently been good to both. Bolstered by the dominance of its Android operating system, Google also leapfrogged Coke, moving into second place on Interbrand’s yearly Best Global Brands list.
They headed a tech-heavy list, on which IBM, Microsoft, Samsung and Intel helped round out the top 10.
But Apple shone brightest, as much for its role as a cultural institution as for the products themselves.
“Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but with its ethos,” Interbrand CEO Jez Frampton said in the report. “This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Interbrand has a new No. 1 — Apple.”
Interbrand, which consults with companies about their public image, compiles its list based on financial performance of the company, the role the brand plays in influencing consumers, and how secure the brand’s top money-making products are in their field.
According to the report, Apple’s brand is estimated to be worth $98.3 billion, a 28% increase over 2012, when it was No. 2 on the list. Coca-Cola’s value also rose, but by only 2%, to $79.2 billion. Much of Apple’s boost can probably be attributed to its growing presence in China, where iPhones and other Apple devices are increasingly popular.
Apple and Google were just two of many tech companies among the list’s fastest-rising brands. Facebook gained 43% to hit No. 52, making it the only social-media site on the list. Amazon jumped 27% to No. 19. Last year Google was fourth on the list.
“Tech brands continue to dominate Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report — underscoring the fundamental and invaluable role they play in consumers’ lives,” the report reads. The report estimates that the list’s tech companies have a combined value of more than $443 billion.
Last year Apple eclipsed Microsoft to become the most valuable public company in history, although its stock has since dipped.
This year, Apple was surpassed by Samsung in the total number of smartphones sold worldwide, and some in the tech community knocked the company for what they perceived as a lack of innovation compared to its competitors.
But the newly released iPhone 5S sold a record 9 million units during its first weekend, far outdistancing the 5 million or so iPhone 5 handsets sold in the same amount of time last year. (It’s worth noting, though, that China was part of the initial rollout of the 5S but wasn’t for the 5.)
Interbrand says its not worried about Apple on the innovation front.
“(CEO) Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs’ vision intact — a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again,” Frampton said.