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Apple sits atop impactful global brands list, Al Jazeera fifth

MUMBAI: American iPod and computer giant Apple has overthrown Google to win the 2004 Readers' Choice Awards for the brand with the most global impact. The title was held by Google since 2002, which has dropped to the second position on the list.

Interestingly, Arab news channel Al Jazeera featured in the list of Top 10 brands at the fifth position.

 

 

With Apple's iMacs, iPods and iTunes that were in the thick of news the whole of last year coupled with the company's net profit of $ 295 million in the last quarter of 2004 alone and a 2004 overall net income growth of 300 per cent, Apple's supremacy doesn't come as much of a surprise.

 

 

The survey, which was conducted by online magazine Brandchannel, asked respondents to rate the impact of a particular brand on people's lives, and does not attempt to quantify its financial value.

 

 

Third and fourth on the list are Swedish furniture retailer IKEA and American coffee brand Starbucks. Both IKEA and Starbucks expanded in 2004. IKEA opened ten more stores in 2004 and has staked out 20 new locations for 2005.

Qatar based Arab news channel Al Jazeera has been voted the world's fifth most influential brand, making a first time ever addition to the household name list.

The latest development on the station, which is often criticised by the US for its coverage of the Iraq war, is that the Qatari government is considering plans to privatise the Al Jazeera Satellite television network. Leaving aside the controversies, Al Jazeera is viewed as relatively independent within its region and is increasingly gaining mainstream credibility beyond its borders. The company itself claims to "cover all viewpoints with objectivity integrity and balance."

Already offering news in English at AlJazeera.net and AlJazeera.com, the company, which has over 35 million viewers and 30 bureaus worldwide, is planning to launch an English channel satellite service in 2005. Late last year, the network also inked a deal with Rajat Sharma's India TV, which involved an "exchange" of content.

Other brands in the top ten are previous year mainstays, with Germany's Mini and America's Coca-Cola sliding from the top five in 2003 to sixth and seventh in 2004. Finland's Nokia slipped from seventh to tenth. A notable newcomer to the top 10 is eBay (in the ninth slot). The American online auctioneer claims 95 million registered users, and in 2004 expanded abroad to Asia, South America and Europe, allowing people all over the world to sell things they don't want and buy things they don't need.

The annual Readers' Choice Awards recognise brands that have the most impact (either positive or negative) on people each year. A total of 1,984 Brandchannel readers from 75 countries voted online between November and December 2004.

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