Apple wins brand of the year from U.S. consumers in Harris Interactive poll's smartphone, tablet and PC categories.
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Despite Apple's turbulent year, American consumers still rate it the top brand in three different categories. Harris Interactive released the findings of its Harris Poll EquiTrend study Friday, which polled more than 38,000 Americans about their thoughts on 1,500 lifestyle, product and service brands across 155 categories. Apple won Brand of the Year for all three categories in which it was nominated.
Apple beat out some stiff competition in the mobile phone, tablet and computer categories. First, the iPhone won mobile phone brand of the year from Harris' pollees. HTC ranked second, Samsung ranked third and LG ranked fourth. Harris isn't measuring consumer thoughts on specific devices, but on brands as a whole. This is the second year in a row Apple's iPhone brand has won this category. Perhaps more interesting, however, is that HTC outranked Samsung. Sales of Samsung devices (and LG devices) are clearly far and away better than those of ailing HTC. Did the HTC One, with its top-notch design, give HTC's brand a lift? It would appear so.
Apple's iPad also won the top brand spot for a second year in a row. It managed to hold off Amazon's Kindle Fire series, which ranked second. Other contenders in the tablet space were Google Nexus tablets, ranked third, Samsung Galaxy Tab devices, ranked fourth, and HP Slate tablets, ranked fifth. Products that didn't rank well with consumers at all include the BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola Xoom and Microsoft Surface. Harris thinks the addition of the iPad Mini to Apple's tablet lineup helped boost its brand awareness with consumers.
Last, Apple's computers held their own against devices from a wide range of PC makers. Apple Computers, which encompasses its laptops and desktops, won brand of the year from Harris. Behind Apple, HP ranked second, Dell ranked third and Sony ranked fourth. Harris pointed out, however, that Apple's quality score dipped compared to last year.
"Americans continue to give Apple brands strong ratings," said Manny Flores, senior VP at Harris Interactive. "And while their Consumer Connection scores are strong within their respective categories, what really stands out is that in all three of the categories Apple brands are measured -- Computer, Tablet and Mobile Phone - its Brand Momentum scores are in the top 30 of all 1,500 brands evaluated in the study, showing that consumers see this as a brand of the future."
Beyond the three categories above, Harris looked at a range of others. For example, Verizon Wireless was the top mobile network brand of the year, followed by AT&T. Similarly, Verizon's prepaid mobile network brand also picked up brand of the year, which was followed by AT&T's and then TracFone's.
HP may have had to settle for second place to Apple as far as PCs go, but it won brand of the year for its printers. It was followed by Canon, Kodak, Samsung and Xerox.
Looking at online computer retailers, Newegg.com bested the competition in that space for brand of the year. It was followed by Microsoft.com, Store.Apple.com and BestBuy.com.
Harris Interactive's full report is available here.
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