Technology giant Apple, responsible for some of the most iconic consumer technology today, has officially been dethroned as the most valuable brand in the world. Research firm Millward Brown released their annual Top 100 listing, placing search engine Google above Apple.

According to the company, Google’s brand value rose 40% to $158-billion, while Apple dipped by 20% to settle for second place at $147-billion. IBM was firmly in third place with a brand value of $107-billion, and Microsoft is fourth $90-billion.

“Google has been hugely innovative in the last year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a multitude of partnerships that see its Android operating system becoming embedded in other goods such as cars. All of this activity sends a very strong signal to consumers about what Google is about and it has coincided with a slowdown at Apple,” said Nick Cooper, Managing Director of Millward Brown in a press statement.

The only African brand to crack the nod for the Top 100 list, is Pan-African mobile operator MTN. According to Millward Brown, MTN has a brand value of $10-billion, sinking 11% and 14 positions from last year.

“This year’s index highlights the end of the recession, with a strong recovery in valuations and, for the first time, real growth across every category and the Top 100 as a whole. What’s remarkable is the way that strong brands have led the recovery. 71 of the brands listed in our 2014 Top 100 were there in 2008. Despite the financial turmoil and the digital disruption that have decimated many businesses during the last few years, these brands have remained in the ranking, proving the durability of strong brands,” added David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP.

Millward Brown also highlighted that the combined value of the Top 100 has nearly doubled since the first ranking was produced in 2006, and the Top 100 today are worth $2.9 trillion, an increase of 49% compared with the 2008 valuation.

[Source: Millward Brown, Image: file]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.