Apple, AOL, and Social Gaming, Oh My!

  • Posted by Steve Goldberg
  • |
  • May 14, 2011
Image - Apple logo - silver-resized-600

Apple has superseded Google to become the most valuable consumer-facing global brand, according to the 6th annual BrandZGlobal Brands study conducted by WPP’s Millward Brown Optimor. Technology and telecom brands dominated the ranking this year, making up one-third of the Top 100 brands.

Apple led with brand value of $153 billion (up 84% from last year from spot #3,)  followed by Google, with a brand value of $111.5 billion, and IBM in third place with a brand value of $100.9 billion. Facebook made its debut in the Top 100 at No. 35 with the highest increase in brand value, 246%, making it worth $19.1 billion. Online retailer Amazon also edged past Walmart to become the No. 1 retail brand and 14th overall, with a 37% rise in brand value to $37.6 billion.

Man working on a tablet pc

The success of Apple is no suprise. Apple saw an opportunity (a hole if you will) in the computer technology market and they filled that hole with the iPad, attributing to their 2 place jump. But, now that Apple has released their shiny toys, how will they continue to be number one? The market is becoming saturated with different brands of tablet computers, a market that I believe will quickly weed out the tablets that just can’t compete, leaving only the strong. The strong being the iPad, Android tablet, and possibly Samsung.

I think that Google has the opportunity to take back the number one position once the Google Music platform debuts, beating Apple to the cloud. It’ll be interesting to see the results by next year (and the reason’s behind it).

The Most Valuable Global Brands 2011
Rank Brand             Value in $ millions % change from 2010
1      Apple              153,285                       +84%
2      Google            111,498                          -2%
3      IBM                100,849                        +17%
4      McDonald’s        81,016                        +23%
5      Microsoft           78,243                         +2%
6      Coca-Cola        *73,752                         +8%
7      AT&T                69,916                             –
8      Marlboro            67,522                        +18%
9      China Mobile      57,326                         +9%
10    GE                    50,318                        +12%
Source: BrandZ, *The Brand Value of Coca-Cola includes Lites, Diets and Zero

Other Apple Statistics:

Apple iOS remains the platform of choice for app developers with 91% of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in iPhone development and 86% very interested in developing for the hot-selling iPad, according to a new joint Appcelerator/IDC survey querying more than 2,700 developers. Google witnessed a plateau in its earlier momentum gains. Reported interest in Android phones fell two points to 85% and Android tablets fell three points to 71% after increasing twelve points during Q1. Developers complain about fragmentation of devices for the platform, and worry that weak demand for Andriod tablets and app stores will weigh it down.

  • While 71% of developers are very interested in Android as a tablet OS, only 52% are very interested in one of the leading Android tablet devices today – the Samsung Galaxy Tab. That number drops to 44% for the Motorola Xoom and 31% for the upcoming HTC Flyer
  • Microsoft fell seven points, with only 29% of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in the Windows Phone 7, while BlackBerry phones dropped eleven points to 27%
  • #3 player Microsoft’s biggest problem with developers may simply be available time, as 46% of respondents indicated, “I have my hands full with iOS and/or Android.”

AOL also announced a precipitous drop in Q1 profits as it absorbed its $315 million purchase of the Huffington Post in March. Profits fell to $4.7 million from $34.7 million a year ago and revenue also fell by 17% to $551.4 million for the quarter. Continually dropping Internet subscription revenue dropped 24% to $215.4 million while overall ad revenue fell 11% to $313.7 million. One bright spot was a boost global revenue from display ads – up some 4% y/y.

The mobile gaming arena continues to explode as digital game downloads for mobile devices now represent close to half of all video game full game downloads according to NPD Group‘s latest Online Gaming 2011 report (excluding micro-transactions and add-on content to be used with previously purchased or acquired full games). Due to lower price points for mobile games, however, consumer spending remains stronger for console games – among those who purchased a mobile game in the past three months, 60% indicated that they are still spending the same or more on console and portable games since they started purchasing for their mobile devices, while 40% reported spending less.