After 3 years at the top, Apple finds itself behind Google, according to a new survey.
Google has been named as the most valuable brand in the world as Apple’s brand value fell by 20% in the past year to just under £88bn. It has conceded the spot it held for 3 years to Google, whose value increased by 40% to 159 billion dollars. This, in spite of several product launched in the past few years. This is according to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking of Millward Brown.
Google had a $15.4 billion revenue in the last financial quarter with profits of $3.45 billion. This is from their investment in self-driving cars, Google glass and numerous partnerships with Android. It also includes its forthcoming line of smartwatches.
Technology brands occupied the top positions in the survey. These are the brands with the fastest growth in terms of brand value. Facebook saw its brand value rise to 68% to around 36 billion dollars, making it at the number 21 spot. From the other side of the world, Tencent, the Chinese Internet portal is now worth over 53 billion dollars. They have experienced a significant 97% rise from last year. This growth resulted to 7 places up to the number 14 spot in the rankings.
Meanwhile, growth at Samsung, Siemens and Yahoo was more restrained. New entries to the ranking include Twitter and LinkedIn.
According to Global BrandZ Director Peter Walshe, these digital brands (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are now more than just tools. They are already part of our lives. These brands offer new ways to communicate that get people’s attention and capture their imagination. At the same time, these brands also help people become organized with the rest of their lives. Google is making ambitious maneuvers across existing boundaries. This is probably the reason why Google is now number one.
A closer look at the new Smartwatches
Google probably knows no boundaries as evidenced by their many projects and investments, the latest is their take on the smartwatch. They are finally ready to say what a smartwatch should really look like. Their recent project is the Android Wear which is a version of their mobile operating system that is specifically designed for wearable devices. They have shown what shape the OS will take when it comes to watches. Android Wear is expected to run on both circular and square displays. It relies heavily on Google Now to change the simple swipes that control it.
In Google’s version of a smartwatch, the watch itself is focused on one task but is often displaying two different things. Critical information is placed on the bottom of the screen while a background usually appears above it. In some cases, rich information also appears in the background. For example, when using Google Maps, the map will appear in the background while route information is shown on the bottom portion of the display, larger than the map itself.
On the other hand, Motorola and LG also showed off what they say would be their first smartwatches. They are dramatically different from the other smartwatches in the market. Going back to the Google smartwatch, it is definitely more sophisticated than the ones available now. It is relying on the brand’s unparalleled voice recognition for obeying simple commands. It also promises to serve up the information and suggestions you need, right when you need them. This is due to the predictive and personalized algorithms that power both Android phones and Google Now.
The Android Wear is aiming for something much bigger than the long-fabled Apple iWatch which might be a health-specific wristband. If there’s any company that has a big shot at making that multipurpose watch that everyone wants or is dreaming about, it’s Google. Aside from their coding might, their willingness to let third-party developers in could make it a big hit. They may also let users define their own personalized experiences so that’s another plus.
A watch face has very limited space so knowing what service, data or app a person needs at any given time is important. The promotional videos released by Google show how the Android Wear plays out in a number of different situations. For example, if you are on the bus, your watch might show you the next few stops. If you have a meeting coming up, it will remind you of the details. It will even offer you directions on how to go to your meeting place. It also has some fun features such as when it feels itself shaking around and its mic hears music, it might think that you are dancing and will tell you what song is playing.
Context is not limited to using sensors to understand your activities. It’s also about tying your scattered digital life to your actual, physical self. It’s about looking at your calendar, inbox, contacts and getting the information that you need. It’s about understanding your schedule, your to-do list and getting in touch with the people you love.
Remember when Gmail was first released? It took away all the hassles of organizing your emails by offering a search box which you can use to search for specific emails. The Android Wear aims to take you the next level by doing away with the hassle of search and just displaying the stuff you need when you need it. With products like these, it will be no surprise if Google continues to dominate the top place for many years to come. In the end, the consumers win because Apple, Samsung and the other companies will surely look for more ways to compete with Google.
Google aims to make organization simple so you don’t get that feeling of wearing your computer on your wrist. There are very companies that can achieve that kind of simplicity. Google is one of them. Let’s just hope that hardware manufacturers can keep up with Google’s ambitious vision. This product is something to look forward to.