'Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me,' Steve Jobs once said, and it may be true that he was not overly concerned about his personal wealth.
However, when we look at Apple as a brand, the story is different. No one could ever accuse it of selling its products cheaply, but we forgive Apple this because anything with a lower-case 'i' in front of it turns out to be beautifully designed, reliable and just damn cool.
On the app front, however, Android is munching a nice bite out of Apple's market share. That's partly because it takes just a 10% cut of its app sales, versus Apple's 30%.
The challenge that Android is posing could explain Apple's recruitment drive for its App Store and a head of digital position (page 1). In the post-Jobs era, fresh blood will help Apple, one of The Marketing Society's Brand of the Year candidates (see page 14), become even more competitive.
Her majesty - the brand
Meanwhile, what should also pop up on that Brand of the Year shortlist but the British monarchy. What can it learn from mainstream brands?
Well, one mainstay for any brand worth its salt is innovation. First Prince Charles got into bed with B&Q et al. to promote sustainable living via his 'Start' website. However, this initiative was trumped by the Queen's visit to Ireland in May, an occasion unimaginable a few years ago. It was a remarkable achievement in an annus mirabilis.
Of course, successful brands don't neglect their traditions either; and April's wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was the icing on the cake, if you'll excuse the pun.