Apple maintains its position as the world’s most valuable brand for the third year in a row, according to this year’s Brand Finance Global 500 study.
After Apple, the other positions in the Top 10 were filled out by Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, General Electric, AT&T, Amazon, Walmart, and IBM.
“What sets [Apple] apart is its ability to monetize [its] brand,” Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said in a statement. “For example, though tablets were in use before the iPad, it was the application of the Apple brand to the concept that captured the public imagination and allowed it to take off as a commercial reality.”
Closing its fourth round of funding, the mobile credit card processing company just raised $200 million, making it worth a staggeringly large $3.25 billion. The company, built by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame, allows anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or other compatible mobile device, to accept credit cards. Square is widely seen as the industry leader in the mobile payment-with-a-dongle space (I just made that term up), as evidenced by other dongles released shortly thereafter by the likes of PayPal and Intuit, among others.
In what may come as no surprise, the COO of Square, Keith Rabois, is on record at All Things D, saying that the transition from current registers and point of sale devices (like ATM card-swiping devices) to iPads or other tablets will happen within the next year and a half. Square’s partnership with Starbucks is only the first of the steps being taken actively by Square to make this a self-fulfilling prophecy.