Apple is still the 50th most recognized brand in the world, according to Interbrand, the world’s top brands consultancy.

Although Apple’s ranking is unchanged from last year, its brand value has increased from $5.32 billion to $5.55 billion – a 4 per cent upswing.

Based on Interbrand's research, Business Week's 2003 brands rankings lists the top 100 global brands, all of which are worth more than US$1 billion.

Notes on Apple state: "The “I's” have it – iPod, iTunes, and iBooks lifted the perennial underdog, while the innovative Music Store download service left rivals in the dust."
Of the technology companies listed, Microsoft maintained top spot, again being listed second behind Coca Cola, with IBM coming third. Others include Intel (5), Hewlett-Packard (12), Oracle (24), Samsung (25), Dell (29), Nintendo (32), Kodak (34), Canon (39), Xerox (48), Sun Microsystems (58), and Motorola (81).

Apple achieved a higher ranking than brands such as Adidas, Pizza Hut, Gucci, Yahoo!, Levi's, and Starbucks.

Interbrand selects brands using three criteria: they have to be global in nature, deriving a third of their sales from outside their home country; they must have significant distribution throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia; and there also had to be publicly available marketing and financial data on which to base the valuation.