Cape Town - Apple has been dethroned as the world's most valuable brand as the company battles declining market share and a perception that it cannot deliver innovative products without former CEO, Steve Jobs.
Research firm Millward Brown on Tuesday declared that Google had overtaken Apple due to a 40% increase in the search giant's brand value to $158bn, versus Apple's decline of 20% to $147bn.
IBM retained its third position from the 2013 listing, followed by Microsoft at fourth with a brand value of $90bn.
McDonalds rounded out the top five dominated by technology companies.
Apple has been under some pressure to deliver a hit product after the success of the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010, just over a year before Jobs died.
Google, though, has been soaring despite disputes on privacy in Europe.
The company has pushed technology with the development of wearable technology like Glass and is advancing practical application of its driverless cars.
Microsoft managed to increase its brand despite negative publicity around its Surface tablet offering.
New CEO Satya Nadella has made mobile the centre of the company's strategy, overseeing the rollout of Office for mobile devices like the iPad and Android-powered tablets.
On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled the next generation of the Surface, which is geared toward business users, to differentiate it from the huge number of consumer tablets on the market.
The device has a 31cm display and comes with a stylus, similar to the Galaxy tablets from Samsung, which is No 29 on the list with a brand value of $25bn.
The only technology company to debut on the list was LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, at 78th place with a brand value of $12.4bn.
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