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Apple losing out on innovation, claims new study

Technically Incorrect: A survey asks consumers which companies represent innovation. Neither Apple nor Samsung do as well as they used to.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Not innovative anymore?

Harry How, Getty Images

What is it Heidi Klum always says on "Project Runway"? "One day you're in, and the next day you're out."

This seems to be true of technology as it is of skinny jeans.

I offer this mournful thought on viewing a new survey released Monday by brand loyalty and emotional engagement research consultancy Brand Keys.

In the first two weeks of July, it asked 4,000 adult consumers which tech companies spontaneously came to mind as innovative. What fascination emerged from these consumers' imaginations?

Apple, last year's winner, dipped to No. 4. Could it be that all the talk of iPhone 7 rather resembling iPhone 6 has made real people wonder if Apple will innovate further?

The full list sees a lot of change.

Brand Keys

Cupertino, though, wasn't alone in slipping down the innovative pole. Samsung fell from No. 3 to No. 5. Microsoft plunged from No. 11 to No. 18.

Apple, Samsung and Microsoft didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

What was in these people's minds?

One indication of consumers' thought processes might lie in the fact that Google is now seen as the most innovative. Those self-driving cars might be exciting people. Or could it be just the demise of Google+?

Right behind Google is now Amazon. Perhaps people can't wait to have their garden seeds and underwear delivered by drone.

Facebook ranked No. 3. For some, the notion of Facebook being more innovative than Apple might resemble the notion of gruel being tastier than granola.

For Brand Keys' Founder and President Robert Passikoff, however, it's the new brands that entered the Top 20 that indicate the true direction in which consumers' minds are drifting.

Airbnb, Snapchat, Shutterfly, BuzzFeed, ClassPass and theSkimm all were new presences.

"Each new brand stands for something that advances the category in which they compete and adds real value for consumers," Passikoff explained in a press release.

Perhaps some categories -- phones, for example -- are seen as stagnant. Perhaps some brands, though, have simply not inspired for quite a while.

The entry of these new brands meant that known names such as Uber, LinkedIn and Slack plunged off the list altogether.

Perhaps all we can conclude is that as technology makes our attention spans ever shorter, our perception of what is innovative flits around every few minutes.

You just can't trust us, really.