After five years of Apple reigning at the top, Google has now dethroned it, becoming the world's most valuable brand.

For the first time since 2011, Google now ranks top with a $109.5 billion monetary value, a 24 percent increase compared to last year. Apple, meanwhile, declined to $107.1 billion compared to $145.9 billion last year.

The data comes from a study conducted by Brand Finance, a valuation and strategy consultancy. Brand Finance published its findings on Wednesday, Feb. 2.

"The latest version of the Brand Finance Global 500, which identifies and ranks the world's most valuable brands, has seen Google take the number one spot, with Apple dropping to second place after a five-year stint at the top," Brand Finance reports. "Despite a substantial jump in its brand value, remains in third place."

Apple's Decline

Apple had been at the very top of the list since 2012, ranking as the world's most valuable company largely because of its dominance in the smartphone and tablet segments. This year, however, Brand Finance notes a 27 percent decline in Apple's brand value.

The report notes that some of the factors taken into account in the study include a "perceived over-exploitation" of customers' goodwill, as well as other technology companies catching up. Notably, several Chinese brands have bolstered their presence on the smartphone market, further affecting Apple's dominance.

Brand Value

Apple, meanwhile, has been criticized recently for its lack of innovation and insufficient upgrades from one iPhone generation to the next. Perhaps for this reason, new iPhone iterations have driven declining returns and Brand Finance mentions that several signs indicate that Apple has reached a brand saturation point.

Nevertheless, just one day before Brand Finance published its study, Apple reported better-than-expected results for the quarter, re-assuming its position as the world's top smartphone seller for the first time in five years, trumping even archrival Samsung.

It seems that despite the reported historic revenues and profits it bagged in Q1 2017, however, Apple was still unable to retain its position as the world's most valuable brand.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has also reported better-than-expected revenue for the most recent quarter, and Google's reign might just be getting started.

World's Top Brands

With Google at the top of the world's 500 brands, Apple takes second place, followed by Amazon, AT&T, and Microsoft. Rounding up the top 10 are Samsung Group, Verizon, Walmart, Facebook, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

It remains to be seen whether the next generation of iDevices will help Apple regain the top position. The iPhone 8 is shaping up as a real powerhouse based on recent rumors and leaks, but it's all just speculation at this point. Analysts predict that the iPhone 8 set to launch later this year will set a new sales record for the company.

Google is also rumored to be working on a top-notch Pixel 2 smartphone that could further dent Apple's performance, and Samsung's Galaxy S8/ S8 Plus should give the iPhone 8 some heavy competition as well.

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