updated 09:10 pm EDT, Wed April 28, 2010
Bested only by Google, IBM
Apple has been ranked in the third position among the strongest global brands, according to the annual BrandZ Top 100 report issued by the research group Millward Brown Optimor. The company represents an estimated brand value of over $86 billion, reaching beyond rival Microsoft, in the fourth position, by more than $6 billion.
Although Google and IBM held the first and second rankings in the lineup, Apple's brand value was significantly higher than many of its industry peers including HP, BlackBerry, Nokia, Intel, Dell, Samsung and Sony.
Apple is a newcomer to the top rankings, moving up 26 places from its previous position. The jump corresponded with a 32 percent increase in brand value, driven in part by the success of the iPhone and anticipation behind the iPad.
"Apple's 32 percent increase in brand value is due to its iconic products, which help people manage and enjoy their lives," the report said. "The company ended the calendar year 2009 with iPhone sales of 8.7 million for the quarter, a 100 percent year-on-year increase with over 100,000 apps available."