According to this year’s Brand Finance Global 500 report, Apple remains the world’s most valuable brand. Apple is joined in the top five by Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon. According to the report, they hold a significant lead over second place Samsung. Brand Finance’s CEO writes:
“What sets [Apple] apart is its ability to monetize [its] brand. For example, though tablets were in use before the iPad, it was the application of the Apple brand to the concept that captured the public imagination and allowed it to take off as a commercial reality.”
Brand Finance, which ran the study, valued Apple at $104.7 billion, which is up 20% over 2013. Samsung, who is number two, is valued at $78.75 billion, which is up 34% on 2013. So while Apple is still number one, Samsung is growing faster. Another year or two like this past one, and Samsung will overtake Apple for the number one spot.
Clouds on the Horizon
We all know about the “Apple is Doomed” narrative that continuously fascinates the press. Despite this endless news cycle of doom and gloom, Apple continues to deliver amazing quarterly results. Wall Street doesn’t seem to care, all they seem to worry about is what’s next, and they don’t think Apple has that answer.
Of course that outlook completely ignores the way Apple does things. There was a huge chunk of time between the Macintosh and the iPod; another chunk between the iPod and the iPhone, and another between the iPhone and the iPad. These revolutionary and “magical” products don’t just appear overnight. Whether the next one is an iWatch or an Apple TV set, or perhaps an iCar, who knows. What’s almost for sure is that Apple isn’t standing still, even though many pundits think they are.
Samsung is facing the same issues as Apple; a maturing smartphone market, and very few ways to innovate on smartphones. Samsung of course has other businesses that it can fall back on, like building refrigerators and ships. Apple doesn’t have that backup market, which is what crazy investors are worried about.
The real question isn’t whether or not Apple will come out with something new (since the answer is of course they will), but rather when and will it be enough? The “Apple is Doomed” industry is a big market for a lot of websites and a lot of analysts. Even after Apple wows us with their next great disruptive product, they will likely go right back to naysaying and predicting the end of Apple.
Apple is number one, and will continue to do well over the next few years; very well, in fact, with billions of dollars in the bank. Apple will continue to plug along, introducing amazing products and iterating on existing product lines. Likewise the Doomsday group will continue to foresee cloudy skies. It seems that’s just the way of the world.