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Apple beats Google for world's biggest brand

Nintendo heads Sony, as Microsoft takes number four spot in global rankings

Google's four year reign as the world's number one consumer brand has been ended by Apple, according to the 2011 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rankings.

Apple's "brand value" rose by 84 per cent to $153.3 billion according to chart creators Millward Brown, while Google's fell by 2 per cent to $111.5 billion.

The number three brand was IBM ($100.9 billion), followed by McDonald's ($81.0 billion) at number four and Microsoft ($78.2 billion), with a 2 per cent rise, at number five. The fastest riser of the year was Facebook at number 35, with a brand value of $19.1 billion.

The combined value of the top 100 amounts to $2.4 trillion, more than then GDP of the UK. Apple's brand value alone is equivalent to the GDP of Peru.

The top five brands in North America were identical to the global top five, but the charts were very different elsewhere in the world. The top three brands in the UK were Vodafone, HSBC, and Tesco; whereas in continental Europe the top three were Deutsche Telekom, Movistar, and SAP.

In the global chart Nintendo was ranked at number 79, with a 37 per cent drop to $11.1 billion. Sony was ranked at 85, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year to a brand value of $10.4 billion.

A list of the top 100 companies and a full report on the chart is available at Millward Brown's official website.

"It's clear that every single Apple employee, from Steve Jobs and Tim Cook to the summer interns, see protecting and nurturing that brand as a top priority," said Millward Brown CEO Eileen Campbell.

"Tablet computing also drove value growth not just for Apple, but also for the providers who support yet another networked device."

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