Apple has surpassed Google as world’s most valuable brand, according to advertising firm WPP’s “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” study. Apple’s brand value has ballooned 859% since 2006, and increased 84% to $153.3 billion this year. Tech companies dominate the rankings: AT&T, China Mobile, IBM, and Microsoft all have spots in the top-10 most valuable brands list, and McDonald’s is the only non-tech brand in the top-5. Google had reigned supreme for the past four years before being displaced by Apple, and Amazon surpassed Walmart to become the No. 1 retailer. Hit the jump for the full report from WPP.
Zuners old and new will be happy to learn that moving forward, getting your calories on is no longer a roadblock when it comes to hitting the Zune Marketplace on the go. While AT&T goes back and forth with free WiFi for iPhone users at Starbucks, Microsoft is moving full speed ahead by signing a three-year deal that will allow all Zune users to access WiFi at any WiFi-equipped McDonald’s absolutely free of charge. Hmm, we wonder which will kill you faster, Starbucks or McDonald’s? While the Zune doesn’t have a web browser, users will have speedy access to the Zune Marketplace in the event that the background music at McDonald’s just isn’t providing the right vibe as you devour your Big Mac. Patrons can now browse the Marketplace catalog, download new tracks and even use the sweet new Buy from FM feature with what will surely be a pretty wide open pipe. Everything is coming up Zune lately, huh? Free WiFi with your burgers, updated models and the 3.0 software is even available for download from the Zune site and now. Keep it coming, Microsoft.