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Apple Tops PC and Tablet Manufacturers in Brand-Strength Poll

Apple-branded computers, tablets and mobile phones were ranked No. 1 in a recent study on consumer brand perception, while Microsoft's Surface tablets were rated "below average."

Market research firm Harris Interactive's annual EquiTrend study ranks companies based on their "brand equity index," which is the metric Harris Interactive uses to determine a brand's strength. A company's brand equity index is based on how consumers rate its products in the categories of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration. For its 2013 EquiTrend report, Harris Interactive asked nearly 40,000 U.S. consumers to rate over 1,500 brands, according to the firm's summary of its findings.

Among computer manufacturers, the top four brands were:

  1. Apple
  2. Hewlett-Packard
  3. Dell
  4. Sony

All four companies' products were rated "above average" by consumers, according to Harris Interactive. Computer manufacturers that were ranked below average included Acer, Asus, Compaq, Fujitsu, Gateway, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba.

In the tablet category, the top five brands were:

  1. Apple iPad
  2. Kindle Fire
  3. Google Nexus
  4. Samsung Galaxy
  5. HP Slate

Microsoft's struggling Surface tablet line was among the devices rated below average by poll respondents, along with Barnes & Noble's Nook HD devices, the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Motorola XOOM.

Among mobile phone manufacturers, the four highest-ranked brands were:

  1. Apple iPhone
  2. HTC
  3. Samsung
  4. LG

Nokia, which two years ago switched to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform as the primary operating system for its smartphone devices, is among the manufacturers rated below average in this category. Other under-performing mobile phone brands include BlackBerry and Motorola.

Microsoft performed well in the category of online computer retailers, which is a new category to the poll. Microsoft.com placed second among online computer retailers, behind the first-place Newegg.com and above third-place Store.Apple.com.

Harris Interactive also publishes an annual corporate-reputation survey. While the EquiTrend study released this week measures a company's brand strength based on how consumers perceive its products, the corporate-reputation survey measures consumer reactions to other aspects of a company, including financial performance, executive leadership, work environment and social responsibility. In Harris Interactive's 2013 corporate-reputation survey, Microsoft ranked 15th, while Amazon.com and Apple were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.