Apple dubbed top billion-dollar brand in US

Apple has received yet another crown -- this one as the top billion-dollar brand in the United States.

In a report released Tuesday, UK consulting agency Brand Finance awarded Apple a brand value of $104.6 billion, up from $87.3 billion in 2013. This year's value far surpassed that of second place Google, which was valued at $68.6 billion. Other tech companies on the list included Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T, Amazon, and IBM, all of which made the top 10 out of 50 brands in total.

How does Brand Finance come up with the billion dollar … Read more

Lenovo and Motorola: Two brands or none?

Ask a real person what they think of Lenovo, and I fancy they'll say: "Oh, they're all right."

Or perhaps: "They're around a lot. They work. Um, yeah."

Few would leap in the air, shake a fist and say: "Lenovo? Oh, yeah. I won't have anything else in my house."

While the company sells generally well-received products, it doesn't yet enjoy the emotional connection of an Apple or a Samsung. New products coming from Lenovo don't engender rabid excitement. There is no Lenovo-virus.

You might have missed this, … Read more

eBay said to open online mall to lure fancy brands

Word has it that eBay has plans to open an online marketplace that caters to various brands, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather than using the eBay moniker, this site is said to be called "The Plaza."

On "The Plaza," it's said that brands will be able to sell directly to consumers -- just like with eBay -- but won't have to be listed next to second-hand items or possible knock-offs.

The news of the possible new marketplace comes via a report from Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter, according to the Journal. The analyst … Read more

Microsoft more trusted than Apple, study says

Trust me, there aren't many people (or things) you can trust these days.

Everyone is out for themselves, ready to take advantage -- often, it seems, because it's just so much fun to take advantage.

However, I know you have a weak spot. You can't hide it. I have the research to prove it. You really, really trust Microsoft, don't you?

How do I know this? Well, while you were at CES wondering what part of your body you would like the gadget-makers to snatch next, I found a piece of highly trustworthy research conducted by … Read more

Intel kills off McAfee Security brand

Throughout the years of John McAfee's madman antics, the founder of computer security firm McAfee Security, always had his name associated with the shield logo of McAfee Antivirus and its variations.

But with a few sentences casually thrown out to the Consumer Electronics Show audience in Las Vegas on Monday evening, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sounded the death knell for the McAfee brand, at least as far as it relates to consumer security.

The software will remain unchanged except for changing the name from McAfee Security to Intel Security. The iconic red McAfee shield will remain, for now, and … Read more

Russell Brand wants you to pirate his new DVD

Comedian and author Russell Brand often gets attention in the viral blogosphere for saying shocking things -- most recently, he hit headlines calling for a political revolution to reject the current systems and hierarchies that favor the privileged.

Giving away his work for free seems to be along a similar anti-capitalist vein. Brand's latest DVD, "Messiah Complex," is available to purchase for £10 ($16.40) from Amazon and the BBC Shop, and he tweeted both those links. But the first link he provided was to a Pirate Bay proxy for the torrent (allowing UK users to circumvent ISP-level blocks to the Pirate Bay main site). … Read more

Apple bumps Coca-Cola to become world's top brand

For the first time in its 13-year history, Interbrand has a new leader of its annual study of the most valuable brand names: Apple.

The iPhone maker bumped Coca-Cola, which had led the study since it began in 2000, with a brand value that Interbrand assessed at $98.3 billion. And reflecting the rising importance of technology in global business and consumer consciousness, Google came in at second place with a brand value of $93.3 billion, well ahead of the soft drink maker's $79.2 billion value.

Not everyone fared as well in the tech world. As Samsung … Read more

In tech-savvy Japan, Apple tops Microsoft in brand perception

Apple has reached the top spot in corporate brand perception for the first time in Japan, as iPhone makes solid gains there, Nikkei said on Wednesday.

Apple saw a "greater willingness of businesspeople to recommend its products," according Nikkei Research.

And the U.S. company continues to rank high in "originality and brand premium," indicating that Japanese businesspeople are willing to pay more for Apple products, the report said.

Apple has boosted its standing in Japan with strong sales of the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5S and 5C are expected to further bolster Apple's position … Read more

Storify is fittingly acquired by Livefyre social curation platform

Livefyre's acquisition of Storify seems to make sense -- it's the marriage of a social storytelling tool to a social curation platform. The two companies announced their union on Monday.

Although not a household name, Livefyre lets millions of users share, tweet, and post news stories they see on the Web. The company's more than 400 customers include CNET's parent company, CBS, and dozens of other news sites such as the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Fox News. Brands including American Idol, Sony PlayStation, and Nascar use the service.

Storify is a tool … Read more

Microsoft Glumia? What will Nokia phones be called now?

Changing your name can give you new life.

Ask Prince, but don't ask Chad Johnson.

It seems, then, that Microsoft might have (yet) an(other) interesting challenge as it turns Nokia's phones into its own.

Even though some might find the wording of Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's device and services division a little fuzzy around the edges, it seems clear that future Lumia phones won't be called Nokia Lumia.

Why would they be? Microsoft hasn't bought the Nokia brand. And, in recent times, the Redmond, Wash.-based company has shown sudden joy in creating … Read more