Study: Apple once again the world’s most valuable brand

Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma/File)

LOS ANGELES — For the second year in a row, Apple is the most valuable brand in the world, according to a study released Tuesday.

Apple took top honors by increasing its brand value 19 percent to $182.9 billion, according to the Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ study.

The Cupertino, Calif., company edged out IBM by nearly $30 billion, but in general, technology companies fared well in the study. Google traded spots with IBM and came in at third place while Microsoft landed in fifth place, with McDonald’s as the only non-tech brand in the top five spots.

The study ranks brands based on their value, an analysis of their financial data, market intelligence and consumer measures of brand equity.

And while Apple’s brand continues to dominate, the study acknowledged that the tech giant is not going unchallenged.

“Apple continues to innovate and maintain its ‘luxury’ brand status, but faces future competition from Samsung,” a press release for the study says. “Samsung is successfully outpacing Apple in a significant number of markets by positioning as a cool, well-priced alternative to the ubiquitous iPhone.”

Another brand that performed well in the study was Facebook, which could use the good news in light of its current stock market debacle. The social network rose 74 percent in brand value — making it the fastest brand-value riser in the study and moving up from 35th to 19th place.

The rest of the brands in the top 10 were Coca-Cola; Marlboro; AT&T, which edged out Verizon; and China Mobile.