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Apple no longer most admired company, but tops UK brand list

It's still a tech superpower, but has Apple lost its way since Tim Cook took over?

Apple could be about to drop off the top spot from Fortune magazine's prestigious World's Most Admired Companies list. The list doesn't come out until later in the week, but according to a blog post by Forbes' Brad Chase, the company isn't likely to retain its number one placing.

It's not all bad news for Apple though. It's just been voted top of the Business Superbrands list here in the UK, and second in the list of Consumer Superbrands. Swings and roundabouts.

Chase writes that while Apple "isn't going to disappear anytime soon", the company's image isn't what it once was. "[T]he value of the once-invincible brand is teetering on the edge of a long, steady drop," he writes.

And what does he reckon is the cause of this discontent among Apple fans? He puts it down to "glitches, missed deadlines and high prices", citing the debacle over Apple Maps, ethical issues with Foxconn plants in China, the proliferation of viruses attacking Macs, and increased competition from Google and Facebook, among other things.

Apple has won the Most Admired award five times on the trot, so it'd be quite a shock if it was snubbed this year.

The company is still doing well over here though, behind only Rolex in the minds of Brits, according to the Superbrands survey, which identifies the UK's strongest brands. Apple came one spot ahead of Microsoft, and four ahead of Google. Facebook was the only other tech company in the top 20, placed at 14.

Apple also topped the Business Superbrands list, two places ahead of Google, five ahead of IBM, and seven ahead of Microsoft.

The consumer Superbrands survey asked more than 2,900 members of the general public which brands they thought had the best reputations. The business poll quizzed more than 1,900 professionals about their companies of choice.

To try and claw back market share from Samsung, Apple is said to be working on a cheaper version of its highly successful iPhone, as well as a watch that connects to your mobile. Do you think the company has lost its way since Tim Cook took over? Let me know in the comments, or on our much-admired Facebook page.

Update: After this article was published, Apple did in fact win Fortune's Most Admired Company title for the sixth time. Google was second and Amazon third.